December 8 - Joseph
Have you had any strange dreams that you remember?
Did you wonder if they had any particular meaning?
Can you remember a time when something didn’t go to plan?
How did it feel?
You might be familiar with bits of today’s story because of the musical Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, but the truth behind the story is that God provided for Joseph and stayed faithful to him, and Joseph trusted him even though lots of things didn’t go to plan and initially didn’t seem to match the dreams that he had as a young man
Imagine having ten older brothers and being dad’s favourite too. Then add to that a series of dreams that made your brothers and even mum and dad look silly. No wonder Joseph was unpopular, but dad took little notice and even gave him an amazing coat that he could show off in. His older brothers were so fed up that they decided to get rid of him; selling him as a slave and pretending that he had been killed by a wild animal.
Sold as slave in Egypt Joseph quickly settled down and was doing well, when he was thrown into prison even though he had done nothing wrong. In prison he worked hard and helped a couple of the king’s servants. One of them remembered him and when the king was bothered by nightmares suggested that Joseph might help.
Joseph was not only able to explain the dreams but he had an idea about what to do. Pharaoh put him in charge. After seven years of good harvests there were seven years of famine across many lands in the region, but God’s provision through Joseph meant that the people of Egypt had enough. It was not long before Joseph’s brothers came from their land near Egypt to buy food, Joseph recognised them and realised that his dream of his brother’s bowing down to him had come true. God had indeed taken care of him.
Although the Bible doesn’t say so explicitly, we can assume that Joseph was able to trust God because he kept in touch with him through prayer.
Use a pot of bubbles to represent your prayers. As the bubbles rise imagine they are prayers that represent:
• things that you are praising God for
• things that have not gone to plan and have been disappointing or difficult
• dreams and hopes that you want to share with God
Joseph’s brothers were reunited with him because the country they lived in had a famine, and they needed food.
There are many people in this country who won’t be having big feasts at Christmas because they cannot afford it for all sorts of reasons.
What can your family do to share some of your good fortune with others in the coming weeks?