You undoubtedly recognize where I got my sermon title from today; Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Now that I have some theatrical experience, I thought it was appropriate to borrow this. If you've seen it, you know Joseph's story. The title came from the “coat of many colors” that Jacob made for Joseph as his favorite son. But you know, that coat is just a tiny part of this long, complex story of Joseph. I count only three mentions of it, and two were when they took it from Joseph and covered it with blood to show their father. No, to me the key elements in the story of Joseph; God's providence in getting Joseph into a position to save the nations. The amazing forgiveness that Joseph gave to his brothers. And I want to see in his life and grace a precursor to the life and grace of Jesus.
Once again we jump ahead in Genesis. I want to fill in what took place between last Sunday's reading and today's. If you recall, Jacob was preparing to meet his brother Esau who, to Jacob's mind, still wanted to kill him. But as is so often the case, the years had softened the heart, and let me share what their reunion looked like from Genesis chapter 33: “Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him were four hundred men. So Jacob divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two slave girls. Jacob himself went out in front of them and bowed down flat on the ground seven times as he was walking toward his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and put his arms around him and hugged him. Then Esau kissed him, and they both cried.” So a happy ending.
Genesis 32:22-31; Romans 9: 1-5; Matthew 14: 13-21
August 6, 2017
We jump ahead once again in Genesis. The Lectionary skips a lot of the story and I don't want us to miss out on the action in between the scenes we actually read. Last week we read of the marriages of Jacob to Leah and Rachel. He'd worked 7 years and Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah and he had to work 7 more years for Rachel's hand. Finally, Jacob was ready to go home. He and Laban negotiated a settlement; a share of the sheep. Laban once again tried to cheat Jacob; but this time Jacob outwitted Laban. The writer tells us that God blessed Jacob and he left...actually snuck away with his share described as a large flock of sheep, slaves, camels and donkeys. He was now a wealthy man.
I need to fill you all in on his family. You know that the twelve tribes of Israel are founded by the twelve sons of Israel/Jacob. As we looked at last week, Jacob had two wives and two concubines. Here is the record of his family: by Leah he had Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulan...oh yeah, the writers recorded one daughter out of all these kids, Dinah. My guess is there were more, but they didn't bother to record the daughters. Leah's maid had sons Gad and Asher. Rachel's maid had Dan and Naphtali. And Rachel had two sons whom Jacob loved more than any of the other twelve; Joseph and Benjamin.