10 August 2014
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 14A (RCL)
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b
Romans 10:5-15
Matthew 14:22-23

Unfortunately, we leave out the verses which contain Joseph’s dreams in the OT reading. Joseph’s brothers could be excused for not liking the lad. This story bears some resemblance to Greek tragedies: the gods have decreed a fate, and try as they might, the humans in the story cannot avoid that fate. In this instance, however, things turn out well for the protagonist. Scholars consider the Joseph “novel” on of the finest examples of the Wisdom tale, or the story of the suffering righteous one. Joseph is persecuted at every turn, but vindicated in the end. As such, he serves as a good stand in for the nation upon its return from Babylon (although of course, things weren’t quite as grand as hoped for). The story gives the hearers reason to hope — God’s decree will come true in the end. Just hang in there.

The story of Jesus walking on the water is another kind of familiar tale. Continue reading “Sinking”