Monday, Second Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

Psalm 56:2 – My enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me…

Today in the daily office we read more of the story of Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers. Psalm 56, also read today, echoes the cry of betrayal and abandonment. And yet we also read Paul, commending himself to the Corinthians as their ‘father through the Gospel.’

Like many men who have come to prison for their crimes, I have been written off and abandoned by almost all of my family, most of my friends, and I lost one whom I loved so very dearly. There are not words for the pain and loneliness that this leads to, or the desperation that I sometimes feel. But the stories of Joseph and Abraham do not end with their pain, and neither does mine.

While it is important to try to understand the amazing pain and anger of Joseph, we are seeing how God used him to save so many Egyptians, his family, and ultimately the nation of Israel. We can identify with Joseph’s anger and fear, but we must also identify with the blessings that came through what he endured. I have many friends that I am closer to now than I ever could have been before, I have better and more honest relationships with the family still in my life, and I have many new and dear friends – on the inside and out.

The world takes, but God gives and restores. Praise be to God.

By thine Agony and Bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial; by thy Glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the Coming of the Holy Ghost, Good Lord, deliver us” BCP 149

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