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Weekly Update – October 23, 2014
First a note of celebration. Pastor Jad and Shelly received word this week that Shelly is cancer free! Fantastic news to lift their spirits as she continues on her road to recovery! Thank you all for the ways you have supported and loved Jad and Shelly and all of us who are struggling with health issues both on our staff and in our congregation. It is a blessing to be a part of a church that lives out the mission of the church family to care for one another in need.
Families, whether biological, or church, or chosen through life situations, are interesting. They can be a source of great strength, but also at times, the source of consternation. And siblings – well, that could be an entire sermon right there. In fact this week it is!
I am the youngest of four, by 9, 11 and 12 years. Being that young gave ample opportunity for being picked on, especially by my older brothers. I became the mascot of whatever sport or extracurricular activity they were involved in, often becoming the practice football, tossed around in a circle of teenage players chanting: “R-U-T-H, JENNY RUTH, JENNY RUTH, JENNY RUTH, RUTH, RUTH!” (This could explain a great deal about me, by the way)
But I always knew, no matter how crazy things got, they loved me and would be there to protect me no matter what. There was a time in our lives when I didn’t know if we would be this close. There were some difficult years as is the case with many siblings or families, but each of us gave each other the space to walk that journey of reconciliation with ourselves and eventually with one another. Now as I face this health crisis, my siblings have all been there to take care of their baby sister. Sending me texts, voicemails, and being at every doctor’s visit, my siblings have shown me love and grace abounding.
This week we will talk about the relationship between Joseph and his brothers found in a short novel from chapters 37-45 of Genesis. This story is about sibling rivalry gone bad, very bad to be sure. But more importantly, it’s the story of how to walk a journey that leads to forgiveness, and then ultimately, reconciliation. It’s not just a journey we take with siblings, in fact it informs many of our family relationships, parents, spouses, partners, but also friendships, work relationships and even the family of the church. It’s not an easy journey. It’s a journey we will find this week in the text that takes time, and space, but be assured, from everything we read in the gospels of Jesus, it’s the expected journey of a disciple.
Join us this Sunday in worship, as we watch the journey unfold for Joseph and his brothers.
Until then, Grace and Peace on your journey,