Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Reality Therapy

Luke 22:1-38    Genesis 39    Psalm 30

As I read the three texts for this day, I find myself asking a question: Where, exactly, do we get the idea that life should go smoothly for those who believe? It certainly doesn’t find its source in the story we’re reading!

Consider the facts. Joseph, who has been sold into slavery by his own brothers, is now the victim of an unjust jailing. As Jesus celebrates the Passover meal with his followers, they jostle for position, his enemies look for a way to kill him, and one of his own moves to betray him. And the psalmist, having lived through both prosperity and grave illness, declares: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

There is reality therapy in these readings. The promise we receive upon entering the story of God is not that it will be smooth sailing from here, on out. Injustice . . . Suffering . . . Tears . . . they are all still part of the story; as are joy and dancing. And hope.  But this hope is not escapism.  Symbolized by bread broken and wine poured out, the promise which offers true hope is found in the juxtaposition of these words: “he remained there in prison. But the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:20,21). God with Joseph. And Jesus. And the psalm writer. And also with us.  No matter the circumstances.

May we hear and receive the Gospel truth this day: In every situation, God is with us. And may this reality lead us to sing out in hope:

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
You have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you
and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give
thanks to you forever.
— Psalm 30:11,12



  Jennifer wrote @

I was struck by the parallel between some of the things that were happening to Joesph and Jesus.
Gen 38:8-9 Joeseph says”my master does not concern himself with anything in the house;everything he owns is in my care. No one is greater in this house than I am…”
Luke 22:24 the dispute on who is greatest. Jesus says,”The kings of the gentiles lord it over them…v26 but you are not to be like that…v27 for who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
It seemed as if Jesus words echo the circumstances of Joeseph here. Joeseph was there doing the best he could despite the treachery of a scorned woman. Jesus was serving God and all of us, while knowing that one of his friends would soon betray him.
Yet…Ps 30:1 “I will exalt you O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me..” words possibly spoken by both of them in their sorrow…springing from their faith and a loving relationship with their Father.
Obviously, having the servant position has its risks for both Joseph and Jesus. Joeseph later is imprisoned falsly while Jesus is crucified and bore the sins of Potiphar’s wife and Judas.

  fbcsreadthruthebible wrote @

Well said, Jennifer! Thanks for bringing the aspect of servanthood into the conversation.

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