Genesis 45:1-15 Proper 15 August 16
   Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
     Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds and all that you have. I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
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Joseph affirms that what had been a treacherous plan on the part of the brothers unfolded in time as a necessary step to put Joseph in Egypt where he could preserve the people and his family in a time of famine. Imagine that you are Joseph. What danger do you recognize in this moment? What opportunity?

When might you have done something harsh to another person that later proved to be a significant turning point for them? Do you think it was “all in the plan”? Did something new come out of something broken?

What do you know of events in your own life that might have seemed tragic or impossible at the time? What danger did you recognize in such moments? What opportunity might be found? 

THE EDUCATIONAL CENTER

Weekly Contemplation is edited and excerpted from Reading Between The Lines. The Educational Center publishes lectionary based resources for youth and adults, groups, individuals and clergy for both short course study and annual subscriptions.