I've been quiet on here - the summer services have been a little bit different and did not involve sermons that could be noted very easily - so I didn't. And then I've been on holiday - another Greenbelt giving sustenance for the year to come, don't know what I'd do without it!
So to get me back in the posting habit, and for a slight diversion - a newsletter article - quickly written after the editors deadline (I was on holiday!)
So is Joseph a good guy or a bad guy?
Joseph is the character who brings the Book of Genesis to an end, he is the favoured son of Jacob; he has the coat of many colours; dreams about his brothers, father, mother bowing down before him; sold into slavery; unfairly accused of rape; imprisoned; his interpretation of dreams leads him before Pharaoh and he emerges as the Vizier charged with controlling all Egypt's resources and sure enough the brothers who sent him into slavery bow down before him; he has time to trick them all before Surprise! Surprise! the family are reunited - and they all live happily ever after.
It is often told as an heroic story of courage, perseverance, faithfulness, blessing, forgiveness. We can be encouraged to follow our dreams, to use our power and ability for the greater good, to see God's blessing in our personal success. Many will tell it as a story of salvation - for through Joseph his family are preserved and God's promise to Abraham is maintained. Hence, Joseph is the ultimate good guy - overcoming every obstacle to emerge triumphant.
Or maybe there is another way to see Joseph - as the bad guy whose ambition always thrusts him forward stepping on anybody who gets in his way. It causes him problems but in the end he gets revenge on his brothers and all embracing power for himself. In the beginning God is centre stage, vocal, creative, generous, abundant - 50 chapters later God is marginalised and silenced, and the chosen people have been led out of the promised land into slavery. It could be argued that Joseph plays a major role in that process.
In Sharing Stories on Wednesday afternoons we are following Joseph's story, and asking ourselves, is he a good guy or a bad guy? Does his story speak to our story? Who are our heroes and villians? Come and join us (1.30pm in the Church Office) share in the Joseph story and the story of all who participate.
September 6th - Joseph & Mrs Potiphar
September 20th - The Cupbearer and the Baker
October 4th - Pharaoh's dreams
October 18th - Joseph in charge