April 1 Lent 4 April 1 – this is no joke, it is beautiful
Joseph could no longer control himself in front of all his attendants, so he declared, “Everyone, leave now!” So no one stayed with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. 2 He wept so loudly that the Egyptians and Pharaoh’s household heard him. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m Joseph! Is my father really still alive?” His brothers couldn’t respond because they were terrified before him.
4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” and they moved closer. He said, “I’m your brother Joseph! The one you sold to Egypt. 5 Now, don’t be upset and don’t be angry with yourselves that you sold me here. Actually, God sent me before you to save lives. 6 We’ve already had two years of famine in the land, and there are five years left without planting or harvesting. 7 God sent me before you to make sure you’d survive and to rescue your lives in this amazing way. 8 You didn’t send me here; it was God who made me a father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler of the whole land of Egypt.
9 “Hurry! Go back to your father. Tell him this is what your son Joseph says: ‘God has made me master of all of Egypt. Come down to me. Don’t delay. 10 You may live in the land of Goshen, so you will be near me, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everyone with you. 11 I will support you there, so you, your household, and everyone with you won’t starve, since the famine will still last five years.’ 12 You and my brother Benjamin have seen with your own eyes that I’m speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about my power in Egypt and about everything you’ve seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 He threw his arms around his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. 15 He kissed all of his brothers and wept, embracing them. After that, his brothers were finally able to talk to him.
Comment: the drama of a narrative is often the waiting for everything to work out just right, waiting for that reconciliation we the readers can see. Scripture reminds us that when tensions are the highest sometime that is when God is most at work reconciling all things together.
31 Then he began to tell them about the terrible things he would suffer, and that he would be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the other Jewish leaders—and be killed, and that he would rise again three days afterwards. 32 He talked about it quite frankly with them, so Peter took him aside and chided him. “You shouldn’t say things like that,” he told Jesus.
33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples and then said to Peter very sternly, “Satan, get behind me! You are looking at this only from a human point of view and not from God’s.”
34 Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. “If any of you wants to be my follower,” he told them, “you must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow me closely. 35 If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.
36 “And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process? 37 For is anything worth more than his soul? 38 And anyone who is ashamed of me and my message in these days of unbelief and sin, I, the Messiah,will be ashamed of him when I return in the glory of my Father, with the holy angels.”
Praise God with shouts of joy, all people!
2 Sing to the glory of his name;
offer him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How wonderful are the things you do!
Your power is so great
that your enemies bow down in fear before you.
4 Everyone on earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
they sing praises to your name.”
5 Come and see what God has done,
his wonderful acts among people.
6 He changed the sea into dry land;
our ancestors crossed the river on foot.
There we rejoiced because of what he did.
7 He rules forever by his might
and keeps his eyes on the nations.
Let no rebels rise against him.
8 Praise our God, all nations;
let your praise be heard.
9 He has kept us alive
and has not allowed us to fall.
10 You have put us to the test, God;
as silver is purified by fire,
so you have tested us.
11 You let us fall into a trap
and placed heavy burdens on our backs.
12 You let our enemies trample us;
we went through fire and flood,
but now you have brought us to a place of safety.
Prayer: In the morning, O Lord, may we be confident in your Love. In the evening, may it be the same. Amen.