Delivered at Ames UCC
on September 25, 2016
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
Sermons are written to be
heard rather than read.
Please join us for worship
at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.
Our schedule of scripture this fall is taking us on an interesting walk through the formation, the dissolution, and legacies of families.
It began with the first human, split then into two. The first two humans betray God. But they live to make a family. One of those children betrays God, parents, and a brother through murder. But the generations persist.
Last week we met Abraham and Sarah. Abraham and Sarah were old and infertile and without home. They were cynical but they were also kind. And eventually Abraham and Sarah had a child together. That child, Isaac, came with the promise of many more generations to come.
Isaac and his wife Rebekah have two children, children are Jacob and Esau. Jacob acts up a lot. He steals his brother Esau’s rights as first born son. Jacob dreams of heaven and he wrestles with an angel, Jacob becomes Israel. Israel has four wives and many children. But with Rachel he has Joseph.
As much of Joseph’s story that we heard today, we skipped a lot. Once enslaved in Egypt, Joseph is able to outsmart a false assault charge and rise to the ranks of highest power in Pharaoh’s court. Thanks to going through these terrible trials, Joseph is in the position to influence power when he has dreams of famine and the need to be prepared. Joseph saves his master and even his own cruel brothers from starving to death.
Joseph ultimately forgives those brothers, is reunited with his father Jacob/Israel, and is able to mourn him when he dies. Joseph, the youngest brother, then becomes the patriarch of the clan and lives to see many generations after himself.
Between the international and court politics, and the jealousy, and the forgiveness it is a truly rich story. But I want to start today with dreams that provide for the future. I want to talk about stewardship.