The Social Network

This week’s Scripture: Genesis 47:27-31

The cool part about Facebook and other social media is that it has put me in contact with old friends from decades past. Once the initial howdys have been exchanged a new, real opportunity is created to pick up where old friendships left off. When these relationships expired in the first place, often it was a casual drifting by time and space. Others were because disengaged emotions left things sticky and difficult. It was better to skulk off than to work it out. Now with many more miles on the life experience, time has a way of softening many of the rough edges that kept things from being wholesome and edifying. I’m enjoying a whole new set of ‘ friends,’ people to whom I can say “I love you’ and really mean it.

When we were young, we had dreams of true relationship. Intimacy. A quality or desire for the quality of being loved and giving love in return. But most of time we lacked the proper delivery system to tease out the truly essential elements of living that dream. Hopefully with time and wisdom we are now at a place where we can really deliver on the dreams of living and loving. Placing fear and power aside, we can appreciate those differences we have with others and still find a way to laugh and live.

Joseph was given a true gift from God when his family came back to him in Egypt. He saw the opportunity as a way to pick up and work together on the family dream. He could have chosen to get even, to flaunt his power and success. Instead he used his life affirming wisdom to help his family prosper and to reconcile the broken relationships caused by his brothers.

The Apostle Paul had a similar softening in his later life when he asked for JMark to be brought to him. His willingness to pick up a broken relationship and to restore JMark to a position of trusted friend was no small feat for Paul and no small gift to JMark. I pray that we will see the chances we have to restore and will take the time to do just that.

“Tell Me Your Dreams”

This week’s sermon passage: Genesis 40:1-8
1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.

After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”

Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

Joseph’s place in prison for a crime that he did not commit prompts any thoughtful person to face the likelihood that we will all find ourselves in a difficult situation not of our own making.  Once the predictable angst and frustration is expressed, it probably serves us well to consider how best to thrive in a bad experience.  Certainly pouting or raging against the injustice has its limit.

Joseph’s story is filled with a gutty determination that conquers difficult moments. His imprisonment is the latest and it affords him opportunity to be introduced to the cupbearer and the baker of the Pharoah of Egypt. While in jail both of these men, (I presume they are men), have dreams that are so impressionable that each is pondering the dream long after waking.  As Joseph interprets these two dreams, one of the men receives good news while the other gets some not so good news.  But Joseph is honest and helps them face the circumstances that now stand before them.

The Good News of Jesus is that by his own actions he shows, like Joseph, his ancestor, that each of us has a dream and that dream has been poignantly placed into our heart and soul like a dna strand.  That dream is not a fluffly, ethereal piece of undeciferable code but rather a melody or imprint of story placed in us by a loving God.  This loving God tells us the truth about what leads to destruction and what leads to life.  When we listen we can face the dissonance between the dream and the present circumstance.  When we don’t, we will spend a lot of time hunting down another method for breaking the dream’s meaning.

Make no mistake, I believe that God created a beautiful story in my life and it is finished well when I finish with Him in mind.