Prayer: Thanks, Lord, for families.
Reading: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This is one of those stories that gets told over and over again in lots of forms—from Sunday School skits to major stage plays. It is interesting how the whole thing starts—the thing of Joseph being sold into slavery and ending up in Egypt. It starts because Jacob loved Joseph more than the other sons. The other brothers were bummed out, to say the least.
I digress just a bit—My older brother always said that our older sister got away with a lot more than he did. And for sure, he said, I got away with a whole lot more than either he or our older sister did. And for the sister who came along even later, well she was just plain spoiled, spoiled, spoiled. She had dad wrapped around her little finger. I know, it is probably the same in any family with more than one child. I think it is called jealousy. And I know that this family dysfunction is as old as... It’s really old!
Somehow the four of us weathered that jealousy. Even though it is true that mom and did treat each of us differently, we ended up ignoring that and just figured out how to love each other. My older brother and sister have died. It’s just me and my younger sister now. I am so very grateful that we were not consumed by jealousy.
You know, in the end of this story all the brothers and their huge families were blessed because of things done out of jealousy. Joseph became an important person in Egypt and saved his family who were dying because of a severe drought. But, the pain in the family during the many years between, must have been very difficult.
So, got a brother or sister? Maybe a couple of them? Give ‘em a call—do it now. --Jim Bricker
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