Stunned By Grace

Saturday, December 7, 2013
Genesis 44:18—45:27

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

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Before you are one of the most tender, touching passages in the whole Bible. Absolute forgiveness and love on Joseph’s part astounds his sinful brothers and plummet them into a wholly new way of living.

This reading comes on or about Christmas. Approach it as an anticipation of the total love and forgiveness of Jesus. Joseph is a figure of Jesus. As Joseph presents the meaning of his existence to his brothers, hear Jesus saying these same words to you.

Perhaps you have been unfaithful to Jesus, as Joseph’s brothers were to him. The love and acceptance of Joseph is found in infinite measure in Jesus. All you can do is be stunned by this grace. Rejoice along with Jacob, after his heart stood still.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
“I am your brother, Joseph.” 45:4
“It was God who sent me here.” 45:8
Weeping in my heart for joy 45:15
Sharing the joy of Jacob. 45:26

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for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.

2 thoughts on “Stunned By Grace

  1. 45: 14  Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. 15 He kissed all of his brothers and wept, embracing them. After that, his brothers were finally able to talk to him.

    Weeping: pure and complete expression of love and joy. Only then are the brothers able to talk to Joseph, as the words now ride on the stream of love and joy that the gush of their weeping created. And so it is with us.


  2. From “Taste of Torah”

    We are privy to a portrait of Judah, once again standing within earshot of the pit into which Joseph is thrown. The brothers are about to lose another. Rather than respond with hatred, venom, and indifference, Judah is now ready to put his own life on the line. One imagines that Judah’s impassioned and compassion-filled words and Joseph’s painful memories of a very a different brother lead Joseph to reveal himself in the moment. Joseph is prepared to love again, and admit of the splendid possibility of teshuvah. It is, at the end of the day, Judah’s words and emotion that open the doorway to his brother’s mercy


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