Joseph Wept

Journey Through Scripture
Daily Readings for 1/20/2018
Genesis 49-50, Matthew 13:31-38


15 When Joseph’s brothers realized that their father was now dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us, and wants to pay us back seriously for all of the terrible things we did to him?” 16 So they approached Joseph and said, “Your father gave orders before he died, telling us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph. “Please, forgive your brothers’ sins and misdeeds, for they did terrible things to you. Now, please forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God.”’” Joseph wept when they spoke to him (Genesis 50:15-17, Common English Bible).

What would it take to make you cry? Obviously, for some of us, it is more than for others. There are those who believe gender makes a difference. Perhaps it does though I have known some men who cry easily and women who rarely if ever shed a tear.

Most of us don’t cry for no reason at all. There is something that makes us cry. It might be due to a physical pain. It could come from an emotional or even spiritual pain. I can remember following the end of my maternal grandfather’s funeral and my paternal grandmother’s funeral, I was in tears for both. If I said I didn’t shed a few tears when my Dad died, I wouldn’t be honest with you or with myself.

For most of us, those times when we lose someone close to us we weep from the pain of loss. It may not be due to the loss of a parent or a grandparent. I don’t know the pain that goes with the loss of a child but I have seen it on the faces of people I know and love. It could even be due to the loss of a pet. To some that may seem silly. To others, it would seem silly not to cry.

It isn’t any of those reasons we see Joseph in tears in our lesson today. We could look back just a few verses back to the beginning of this chapter and we would see Joseph weeping over his father Jacob. But in this lesson, it is something different.

After all they have been through, Joseph’s brothers still don’t know him. When we first looked at Joseph several days ago, we saw a spoiled child, a child whose father had given him too much, a child who thought he could get by with most anything. That was the child, Joseph. That was the Joseph before he was sold into slavery before he was in prison.

The difficulties Joseph faced in life changed him. Age changed him. God changed him. This was no longer the kid who annoyed his brothers to the point they wanted to kill him. This was a man who worked hard, who rose to power and now was seeing his family well cared for. The troubling part was, his brothers still didn’t know the difference.

Joseph wept because his brothers still didn’t know him. Their lack of knowledge of who Joseph had become had them fearing for their lives. They were so scared of Joseph and what he might do, they lied to him about their father’s last words. Joseph knew they were lying. But, Joseph, much more now than before was a grown man and no longer a child. He knew it was time to move forward.

Perhaps that is a lesson all of us could use to move forward in life. Joseph forgave, and so should we. But, more than that, Joseph worked to demonstrate for his brothers the changes in his life. He is doing so again in the lesson. What was needed by them was, to open their eyes and see. The same thing is needed by us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

If you have gotten behind on your “Journey Through Scripture” readings, as we finish Genesis, now would be a great time for you to catch up. Tomorrow we begin reading Exodus.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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