Wednesday, December 1

Rev. Robert Shaner

“cross with Chi Rho, alpha and omega” by Leo Reynolds is licensed underCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” (Genesis 50: 18-21a)

No surprise —

  • “Techni-colored coat” Joseph is not loved by his siblings
  • Jealous brothers throw him into a pit to die.
  • When a caravan appeared, the brothers sold Joseph

Surprise —

  • Through dream interpretations, Joseph ends up in Pharoah’s court.
  • In famine when brothers come begging, Joseph is Pharoah’s go-to man.
  • “I am Joseph, your brother.”
  • Vengeance is not the answer … (retribution belongs to God).
  • The estranged brothers weep together.
  • God’s people survive, ending up in Egypt.

In God (the alpha and omega) rests the redemptive, epic story full of surprises, revealing a God binding up wounds, restoring relationships, mending broken lives, healing every woe. God’s grace (undeserved blessings) always surprises us with extravagant love with Advent bringing us to the great surprise, the incarnation, the God who chooses to live with and die for us.

No surprise— grace is always there, often when least expected, even when harm may have been intended or our lives may have experienced trying or difficult times. In such moments comes God’s unexpected lavish generosity. Surprise — God not only came, but is coming!

Come, Lord Jesus, open our eyes, our minds and hearts to your daily surprises inviting us to be reconciled to our sisters and brothers. Amen.

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