Monday, January 11, 2016

From Genesis to Now: Surrender

Dear Christa—
From Genesis to Now: Gen. 44:1-13
I can’t help but wonder what kind of person was Joseph’s steward. He puts the silver in the sacks and Joseph’s cup in Benjamin’s. Then, he turns right around and goes after them—all just as Joseph had instructed him. We know nothing of the steward other than his obedience, yet I wonder—had Joseph confided in him? Did he understand the bigger plan? Or, had he worked for Joseph so long he’d come to trust him? If so, these were certainly strange actions for a man he knew to be wise and caring. Then, perhaps, he simply did Joseph’s bidding because he was a servant and it wasn’t his job to question his master---but even then, no matter our position, we consider the things we see. Many view Joseph as a parallel to Jesus—one who in many ways freely put aside his own life to save the lives of others. Like the steward, sometimes we see God’s plan, and sometimes we don’t. But, we trust that there is one.
So, we follow God as the steward followed Joseph. And, when the steward found the cup in Benjamin’s sack—just where he himself had placed it, all the brothers tore their clothes in a display of great anguish. They did not blame Benjamin. They’d seen enough to know they had no control over these happenings. They did not argue. They loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
The feelings of complete surrender, heaviness, and resignation can be taken in from this section. This would be the end for them, they surely thought.
Did they wonder what would happen next? Did they wonder about the old father and their own families and children who waited helplessly at the home they’d never return to? Did they pray to the God who’d chosen them? I imagine it as a silent trip back without conniving and blame. Finally, these brothers were at the end of themselves. It had taken many years. It’s a place we must all find ourselves eventually.
To throw ourselves at the feet of God and relinquish ourselves to Him— That is His desire and rightly so. That is the point where He lifts us up. but, that comes after the surrender—true and complete—lost in His power and our need for mercy.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

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