Today’s author is Prince of Peace member, Steve Sveom retired ELCA pastor .
The story of Joseph reminds us of threats to the promises of God. God’s promise to Abraham would be in danger if Jacob’s family faced famine and potential death. But Joseph became an instrument for God’s grace which ultimately saved his brothers and the family of promise. As we follow Joseph though, we see incredible perseverance in the face of obstacles.
Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. The wife of his slave owner falsely accused Joseph. Joseph was put into prison. These were all obstacles to Joseph, but how did he respond. He responded with courage, hope and integrity.
Verse 6 states that the slave owner “left all that he had in Joseph’s charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.” After being falsely accused and being put in prison, verse 23 tells us that “the chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”
Think of a time that you have faced an obstacle. Did you emulate Joseph in any way with courage, hope and integrity? Did you discover hope in the face of obstacles? When the ELCA made the decision to permit the ordination of gay and lesbian people in committed relationships, I was accused of not opposing that decision because I wanted to protect my retirement funds. That was not a motivation of mine at all. A false accusation hurts. I hope that I acted with integrity and love.
We have all probably discovered ourselves in circumstances that we would never have chosen or pursued. Still, embraced by hope and the presence of God, we can live with courage, faith, love and integrity.