Every deed we do has an outcome. When his brothers sold him off to Egypt, they had no idea that Joseph would later have the power to determine their future. Reuben says it best: So now there comes a reckoning. How painful it must have been for Joseph to listen to his brothers, as he turned away and wept. They had carried their guilt for a long time.
One of the things I have tried to affirm for people these past few months has been to not feel guilty if they have been busy and unable to see me. I know their hearts and their lives. I know that clearing a schedule is not always easy. I want people to be very free and responsible for their decisions without feeling pressured or guilty. We all want something that we might not be able to articulate all the time. I want people to be stress-free as much as possible regarding my health.
Joseph’s brothers came out of a great need, a basic necessity really. God, who had this all figured out already, led them back to the brother they had tried to destroy. God placed before them a chance at redemption. The story is one of hope and reconciliation, but it does have its harsh moments. Joseph must decide whether to react with love or vengeance. Psalm 33 foreshadows what will unfold this week in the story: Lord, let your mercy be upon us, as we place our trust in you. God will deliver them from the famine and restore them to right relationships because God is merciful and just. This is who I place my trust in too and try to use as a model for behaviour. May I continue to keep my eyes on this Merciful One and allow others to be freed of expectations. May my own time of reckoning be merciful and compassionate.
Have you ever had a moment of reckoning that frightened you? Were you met with mercy or vengeance?
You see my heart with eyes of mercy
and act not in anger.
I bow down before you and ask your forgiveness.
May I learn new ways of reckoning
May I recognize you in all things
and pray for the humility to rise above
what the world expects and learn from you
how to build right relationships.