Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God of presence, you remained faithful to Joseph, even in his darkest hours. Remind us daily that you are with us in every circumstance of our lives. Help us live with gratitude for your presence, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. Genesis 39:5
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Joseph’s life had many ups and downs. He was born into a life of enough means to get by fairly well. But then his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. In slavery he rose to the head of household, where he enjoyed many privileges, but then his owner’s jealous wife made up a terrible lie that landed him in jail. In prison he rose to the head of the ranks of prisoners, where he enjoyed many privileges, but people in power forgot about him and he remained in prison many years. When finally he was released, he rose to the top of Pharaoh’s governing board, where again he enjoyed many privileges.
Throughout all his highs and lows in life, God remained faithful to him. God’s blessings became apparent, not explicitly because Joseph himself seemed blessed, but that others were blessed through Joseph. This blessing of others echoes the promise of his ancestor, Abraham, whom God promised would be “blessed to be a blessing” to the world. Indeed, Joseph was a blessing to the world despite his own life’s circumstance.
Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow the story of how Joseph brought his brothers (who became the 12 Tribes of Israel) to Egypt to save them from famine. See how the Egyptians soon forgot Joseph’s good deeds and enslaved the Israelites.
Sunday, Genesis 39:1-23, Joseph in Prison
Monday, Genesis 50:15-21, Joseph Forgives His Brothers
Tuesday, Genesis 50:22-26, Joseph’s Death
Wednesday, Exodus 1:1-22, Oppression of the Israelites
Thursday, Exodus 3:1-12, Moses at the Burning Bush
Friday, Exodus 12:29-32, The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
Saturday, Exodus 13:17-22, The Pillars of Cloud and Fire
Where did God show up in these stories? How did God show up? What is the nature of God in these stories of deliverance?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- What systems are in place in your community that serve to oppress? What systems deliver from oppression?
- How does God bless others through you? What gifts do you bring to those around you?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Use your gifts to serve others this week. If you play an instrument, play it at a nursing home. If you are good with finances, offer to help someone manage their debt. Be creative! God gave you your gifts for a purpose!
Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God who always works for good, teach us by your word to trust you above circumstance, to follow you when temptation beckons. Amen.
Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff. Used with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com.
Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt. Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.