ADVENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT—DAY 5
Genesis 50:18-20 (After their father Jacob died), Then his (Joseph’s) brothers themselves came and bowed down before him. “Here we are before you as your slaves,” they said.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid; I can’t put myself in the place of God. You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened. You have nothing to fear.”
When he was young, Joseph was a major irritation to his older brothers. He was clearly the favorite of his father, and used every occasion to rub his brothers’ noses in the superiority his father granted him. When the opportunity presented itself, they sold him into slavery. Later, Joseph achieved a privileged position in Egyptian society, a position that found his own brothers groveling before him on more than one occasion. Jesus is a major irritation. He is the favorite of His Father, and in the Gospel of John He loses no opportunity to speak of His superiority to us. In John, obnoxious He is. And yet He saves us, and sooner or later all of us grovel before Him. The sooner we do so, the better for us.
Prayer: Dear God, if Jesus is to be believed, He continues to be an irritation to us to this very day—showing up in the needy, the sick, and the poor that cross our paths. Persist in irritating us through Him Father, that the evil circumstances of those in need may be turned to good, even as we humble ourselves before Jesus Christ by showing a smile, lending a helping hand, giving a dollar, a shirt, or a meal. Show us that we need not fear Jesus, nor anyone in need that He brings to us. In his name we pray. Amen.