Reading: Genesis 45: 1-15
Verse 15: He kissed all his brothers and wept over them.
Joseph could have easily lashed out at his brothers from his position of power or he could have sought revenge. But the bond of family and the influence of God in his life lead him to seek reconciliation instead. Living in a foreign land without any true family had to be hard. Even though he had been through his share of trials, Joseph had come to have a very good life. Yet he was alone and missed his family – especially his father.
Joseph clears the room of all his attendants and court officials for two reasons. One is so that he can be open and honest with his brothers. Yet even the removal of everyone else does not keep the time private. Joseph is so overcome with emotion that the officials hear his weeping and report it to Pharaoh. The second reason is to surrender his position of power so that his brothers can draw near to him. It is close and personal – something that would never happen in the official court setting.
Joseph seeks to be reunited and reconciled with his family. It begins with him reaching out, surrendering his power, making the first move simply as their brother. To repair a broken relationship someone has to make the first move. It also requires the other party to accept the offer of reconciliation and to respond accordingly. Both sides must be willing to let go of the past – whatever caused the separation and brokenness – and to begin to love again. In the end, “He kissed all his brothers and wept over them”. Then they talked.
On our faith journey, we go through cycles of reconciliation. We sin and break our relationship with God. Sin separates us. Then in an act of love and surrender of self we repent and ask for forgiveness. In His great love and mercy, God offers us grace and our sin is forgiven. We are once again reunited with the God we love until we stumble again and then we repeat the process. Joseph had to become less to meet his brothers again. We too must surrender some more of ourselves each time we say we are sorry and repent and commit to a closer walk with Jesus. Each day, may we become less and He becomes more.