Armadale UCA

9th August 2020

Genetics Family Blood Relation Science Gift Heart DNA
is a piece of digital artwork by Thomas Larch
which was uploaded on September 8th, 2019.

`Blood ties`

Pentecost 10

Welcome and Grace

Scripture sentence

`The scripture says, `No one who believes in him
will be put to shame.`
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek,
the same Lord is Lord of all
and is generous to all who call on him.
For `Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved`. Romans 10: 11-13

TIS 211 `Jesus lover of my soul`

https://youtu.be/XFaiiPv-Q6I
(third verse is omitted)

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last. 

Other refuge have I none. Hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone. Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed. All my help from thee I bring;
Cover my defenceless head with the shadow of thy wing. 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want. More than all in thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint. Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name. I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace. 

Plenteous grace with thee is found. Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound. Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art. Freely let me take of thee;
Spring thou up within my heart. Rise to all eternity.

Prayer

God of mystery and majesty, God holy, good and true,
no matter what happens, wherever we go,
whatever we go through You are God-with-us in Jesus.
In our darkest night, in the fiercest storm,
in the deepest pit, You are God-with-us in Jesus.
Known, loved and safe, we are truly grateful –
for the Love which created this world and all worlds,
for the Love that spoke and speaks through text and tradition,
and, most of all, for Love embodied in Jesus Christ;
Love which lived, suffered, died and returned
to bring hope, healing and wholeness
to all peoples and all creation.
Come by Your Spirit. Comfort and prove us in these times of testing.
Lift our eyes to Your nearer horizon.
Inspire renewed vision for these times
and deepen a refreshed and refreshing hope
for the certain and the uncertain future.
Come Holy Spirit come. Lord in Your mercy…Hear our prayer
Forgive what is self-centred in us. In these days, help us look out to others and to the wider world with compassion and care.
Lord have mercy…

Forgive what is impetuous and rash within us. In these days, help us consider carefully our words, thoughts and actions.
Christ have mercy…
Forgive what is angry and resentful within us.

In these days, help us cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in our life and living - for such there is no law.
Lord have mercy…
The psalmist says:

`You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.` Ps. 86:5
We call on You and ask for Your forgiveness.

AS those who bear the mark of the cross we rejoice to hear Christ`s words of grace to each of us `Your sins are forgiven` Thanks be to God. Amen

Readings

Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28     Joseph Dreams of Greatness

37 Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.

Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.

He came to Shechem, 15 and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18 They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves[b] that he wore; 24 and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28 When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

Psalm 105

God’s Faithfulness to Israel

O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the 
Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
O offspring of his servant Abraham,[a]
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

16 When he summoned famine against the land,
    and broke every staff of bread,
17 he had sent a man ahead of them,
    Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were hurt with fetters,
    his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19 until what he had said came to pass,
    the word of the Lord kept testing him.
20 The king sent and released him;
    the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21 He made him lord of his house,
    and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to instruct[b] his officials at his pleasure,
    and to teach his elders wisdom.

Matthew 14: 22-33   Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land,[d] for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind,[e] he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

 TIS 580 `Lead us heavenly Father lead us`

https://youtu.be/Wqzau4v23m0

Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
O'er the world's tempestuous sea;
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
For we have no help but Thee;
Yet possessing every blessing
If our God our Father be.

Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us;
All our weakness Thou dost know;
Thou didst tread this earth before us,
Thou didst feel its keenest woe;
Lone and dreary, faint and weary,
Through the desert Thou didst go.

Spirit of our God, descending,
Fill our hearts with heavenly joy,
Love with every passion blending,
Pleasure that can never cloy;
Thus provided, pardoned, guided,
Nothing can our peace destroy.

Reflection and Q and A

Blood ties

We few. We happy few.
We band of brothers, for he today
That sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother…
Shakespeare Henry V

Growing up together, shared life experiences, DNA, family ties, blood relations…There is something about blood…
Joseph and his brothers have grown up in a divided and dysfunctional home – which home is not, to some extent, both divided and dysfunctional? There are tensions and trials in all families. Human relating is never without its challenges.
Joseph`s background is a fascinating study in relationships, the complexity of relationships and how complicated we make them – not without consequences…
Jacob`s mother Rebekah favoured Jacob over his elder twin brother, Esau. And in turn, Jacob favours Joseph – one of two sons by Rachel - Jacob`s preferred wife.
Genesis 29: 30 - `…he (Jacob) loved Rachel more that Leah…`
Today`s passage in Genesis tells one of the stories about the result of Jacob`s preferential treatment of Joseph. Jacob`s favour leads to jealousy and resentment among the remaining ten brothers born of Jacob`s other wife, Leah.
Genesis 37:4 `But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him`.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all make mistakes, very serious mistakes, in their family life – something to think about and take comfort from!
The actions of Joseph`s brothers are unconscionable. There is mercy, there is grace – Reuben stops the brothers from killing Joseph there and then. And there is treachery and cruelty, betrayal and callousness which is hard to fathom – apart from acknowledging their seething, simmering, murderous resentment. However much we may understand their feelings, there is no excuse or justification for their actions.
As brothers, they are already bound by blood ties. And they will be bound by shed blood – the blood of the animal they eventually kill, sacrifice to cover their deeds. Genesis 37: 31
At the end of the story today, Joseph is not in a good place. He`s in a very bad place. He needs to be saved…
I couldn`t help seeing Peter in the Gospel story as related in some way to Joseph in the Old Testament story. Both are impetuous, unaware, forthright. They speak before they think. They are not always easy company, not easy to be or have around.
They are both bound to other men by blood; Joseph to his brothers by the blood of the wild animal which will die to cover their misdeeds and deceive their father; Peter to the other disciples by the blood of Christ which will be shed on the cross.
Whether in a desolate pit, on a stormy sea – death is near.

Poor, poor Joseph/Peter - what ya gonna do?`

In the story, from this point until he speaks in Potiphar`s house, Joseph is silent, silenced. No more bragging or bravado.
After Peter`s demand to Jesus, his cry is clear: `Lord save me!`
Where do the readings take you today?
To a pit, an empty, waterless pit; a place of betrayal and fear?
To a stormy sea, where you fear you may go under?
To a difficult situation of our own foolish making?
To a scary place over which we have no control?
Wherever and whatever and why-ever, as Christians, we are bound together by blood ties.
As Christians we are bound to each other through the blood of Christ. After all, blood is thicker than water. And the Spirit is thicker than blood.
There`s a bigger picture for Joseph, for Peter, for us, for the world in these times.
The psalmist says: `He drew me from the desolate pit…and set my feet upon a rock…` Ps. 40: 2 and `How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity`. Ps. 133: 1
Hear the words Jesus had already said to Peter:
`Take heart`; `It is I`; `Do not be afraid`

Prayer and the Lord`s Prayer

TIS 473 `Community of Christ`

https://youtu.be/U1I4i3IOPBU

Community of Christ, who make the cross your own,
live out your creed and risk Your life for God alone:
the God who wears your face, to whom all worlds belong,
whose children are of every race and every song.

Community of Christ, look past the Church’s door
and see the refugee, the hungry, and the poor.
Take hands with the oppressed, the jobless in your street,
take towel and water, that you wash your neighbour’s feet.

Community of Christ, through whom the word must sound –
cry out for justice and for peace the whole world round:
disarm the powers of war and all that can destroy,
turn bombs to bread, and tears of anguish into joy.

When menace melts away, so shall God’s will be done,
the climate of the world be peace and Christ its Sun;
our currency by love and kindliness our law,
our food and faith be shared as one for evermore.

Blessing

May the blessing of the God of Joseph,
God faithful in good times and challenging times,
Father, Son and Spirit,
comfort and sustain you,
those you love, and those and you ought to love for Christ`s sak,e
today and into the future. Amen