It’s hard not to have favorites in a family. I think every one of us would point to one or two people in our own family, maybe a special aunt or maybe a cousin, and we thank God a little extra for what that person means to us. I had a great aunt who never married, never had children, but doted on us whenever we visited. She made extended family a very special place for us.
Likewise, if we’re honest, we might admit that we have some people in our families that it is just hard to be around. Our story of God’s Family Tree reminds us of people who cannot easily live together in family harmony. There are a number of sibling stories in the Bible where relations are strained and sometimes outright dangerous: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, even Mary and Martha get in a fight in front of Jesus. Yet God works through every one of these families. God chooses these families, and even in their difficulties, God brings help and reveals a higher purpose for the world. God shows the world a faithful love that keeps working, keeps touching people’s hearts and heartaches, and feeds a desire for reconciliation. It may take time. It may take patience. It will undoubtedly take some effort on our part, but God does not give up on us.
How challenging it is to try and rebuild a relationship with a family member who has hurt or ignored us. How much we need the help and strength of God to work on this. Sunday, we learn some large lessons from the story of Joseph and his conflicted relationship with his many brothers. God moves through this complicated family where emotions often run hot, where tempers flare and tears flow. In this powerful story, God shapes history for the entire family of faith. Join us as we worship God whose love and help is not restrained when we need it most in our families!
Rev. Dr. David Summers, Senoir Pastor