Reading: Genesis 45: 1-15
Verse Four: I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt.
Joseph is at a good place in his life. He has gone through some difficult experiences but has had a sense of God’s guidance and presence during his time in Egypt. The old hurts and scars are a thing of the past. And then his brothers suddenly appear before him, begging to buy food. Oh how the tables have turned! All that distant hurt and anger must have come rushing back for Joseph. In the text we see that this is right where his brothers go – terrified in his presence because they too remember what all they did to him.
In life we experience hurts and offenses. We all have been let go by an employer or have been dumped by one we love or have been cast aside for a cooler or better connected friend. More often than not we absorb the hurt and over time it lessens and we come to a new place of peace and contentment as we allow God to heal and love us. We see that God has continued to be at work in our lives, bringing us a new job or a new significant other or a new best friend. And then our old boss comes looking for a job or the ex shows up with regrets over their choice or the old friend comes looking for your help. Thanks feelings come rushing back and it is hard to be loving and caring and to act as Jesus calls us to act.
Joseph exclaims, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt”. It is not, ‘I am in charge now!’ or ‘Get out!’ or anything else harsh or negative. It is love and mercy and reconciliation that Joseph offers. He knows that God has been with him and will continue to be with him. He chooses to let go of the past and to embrace a future with God leading and guiding. When we are faced with the choice to love or to seek revenge, may we also find a way guided by God’s love, bringing healing and wholeness to what was broken.