March 17, 2020
"It was not you who sent me here, but God" (Genesis 45:8). As our world is awash in anxiety over the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, today's Old Testament reading reminds us of God's sovereignty. Joseph had been sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. There he experienced a roller-coaster ride that took him from being a servant to a master of a household, then to imprisonment and eventually to being given charge over all Egypt by Pharaoh. Yet throughout this extraordinary journey, God remained faithful to Joseph and Joseph continued to trust God. As Genesis 39:21 says during Joseph's imprisonment, "The Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love." So strong was Joseph's trust in God's sovereignty over his circumstances that, upon reuniting with the brothers who had betrayed him, he repeatedly affirmed that God sent him to Egypt in order to preserve life (Genesis 45:5,7,8).
What would it take for us to look at our current events with Joseph's eyes? Even as familiar routines and ways of life unravel around us, who might God have sent ahead of us to preserve life? What might the Holy Spirit do in our souls during this season of increased solitude? How, like Joseph's innovation of stockpiling grain before the famine, might the Church take advantage of this opportunity to discover new ways of serving and supporting one another? The good news for us today is that God is with us and that we can trust him to accomplish his deeper purposes in our lives, even through unsettling times.
Grace and Peace,