In this reading from the Old Testament we are offered a familiar story both in the context of Scripture and sadly sometimes in our daily lives. A little background: Joseph is his father’s favorite son, which causes his brothers to be jealous and resent him. In this reading, Joseph is out looking for his brothers and they see him coming. They plot to kill him and then lie about it. One brother, Reuben, convinces them not to kill him but instead to throw Joseph into a waterless pit. Reuben’s motives are not all pure, for he wants to curry favor with their father and be seen as a savior. Talk about a dysfunctional family!
Joseph’s brothers didn’t have the faith or character to act in a peaceful way. They felt slighted and were unforgiving and vengeful. I feel that this text challenges us to consider how we’re going to respond to the pain we feel when we’ve been thrown into a pit. We might also think about those in our lives that we have thrown into the pit and try and make amends to them.
Lord, help me to be forgiving of others and myself when I am wronged.