TUESDAY 23 JUNE 2020
Good morning friends,
Annie was 79 years of age when she came to live in the nursing home where I was working.
She had come from a local farm which had been her home for all of her life. A tiny wee lady with a very sweet nature, she settled in well to her new home with us.
Annie was visited very regularly by her two older brothers, and their families, and one evening when I was helping her get ready for bed, I remarked on how lovely it was to see them altogether.
She said, “Aye, but it wasn’t always like that. For years I really resented these two boys”
I was so surprised and asked her why.
She told me, “You see when I was a girl, these two boys never lifted a hand to help in the house, it was me that had to help. And, at dinner time these two boys got full plates of meat tatties and vegetables, I only got tatties and gravy. And, I had to leave the school at 13, these two boys got to stay on. And then they got good jobs, left the farm and got married and have a family and I had to stay and look after mum and dad. You see they were the boys, and I was only a girl................they were my dad’s favourites.”
She stopped speaking for a bit and said, “It wasn’t fair”
I said, “No it wasn’t fair, but you seem to get on well with your brothers now”
“Aye,” she said, “I do, life’s too short to bear grudges isn’t it, you see my dad was only doing what he thought was best at the time.”
Favouritism in families is perhaps something that resonates with you as you have been reading this story of Annie and her brothers. And as we read scripture we see that it’s nothing new.
In Genesis 37 we read of a father who had a favourite son.
The father’s name was Jacob and he had many sons, but at verse 3 read that “Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age, and he made and ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their brothers loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”
Joseph was a boy who became quite arrogant towards his brothers and one day they’d had enough and plotted to kill him. They captured him one day and sold him off as a slave to traders from Egypt.
The brothers then smeared his robe with goat’s blood and pretended to their father that his favourite son had been killed by a wild animal.
Jacob believed his son Joseph was dead and mourned him. How easily relationships can be broken and hurtful behaviour can occur, and yet it happens as we well know.
However as we read on Chapters 39-46 we will see what happens to Joseph, his brothers and their father. And we will see God’s hand at work as he enabled all things to work together for good to fulfil his purposes.
As the story unfolds the family are reconciled and relationships restored.
Grace and mercy offered and received.
Sometimes we don’t feel like it, other times we plainly don’t want to.
Every now and again we can’t help it, every moment of the day we need it.
Help us, gracious God, to be generous in our giving, and humble in our receiving.
Let us at all times be full of grace, whether we feel like it, want to, or not.
Give us gifts of grace that we might unwrap them, and share them with all we meet today.