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.