Jacob said to Joseph, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock.” Genesis 37:14 

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. John 19:26-27 

God created us to live in community. The Bible does not consist of accounts of individuals off on their own quests, but rather of people who were called by God to lead their people. Or to bring messages of comfort, sometimes, and doom at other times, to the people of God. There were covenants made between groups of people and God.   

Our verses for today talk of people supporting those close to them. In Genesis, Jacob is wondering how his sons are doing so he sends Joseph out to check on them. (or maybe on the sheep?) We all know that didn’t go so   well as the brothers were jealous of Joseph. He had shared some dreams where he was the one in charge and his brothers were bowing to him – not the thing that makes siblings very happy. They plot to kill him, but instead sell him off to Egypt. Eventually his being in Egypt saves them all. The family reunites, community is restored as God intended all along.

When Jesus is dying on the cross he takes time to make sure his mother is cared for. Remarkable that the Savior of the whole world is still concerned with an individual, and knows that she and one of his disciples can care for each other. Our God is remarkable – Creator of all, Savior of all, and concerned with each and every one of us as individuals too. Individuals who work much better together than each on their own. Our Lenten reading for Feb. 24-27 was about rising above individualism. To quote “Individualism desires individual recognition . . . but it breeds isolation as it values competition over cooperation. Rise above it by sharing problems with a group, and the credit for overcoming them.”. Joseph’s brothers were focused on competition for who their father liked best; time showed them that working together saved them all in a time of famine.

as Paul writes: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

Good Shepherd, we thank you for your constant keeping. As your flock, we ask for forgiveness when we go astray. May we love and care for one another as you have loved and cared for us.. As John took Mary into his own home, may we embrace everyone as family. Help us be there for one another and provide love and support to all, regardless of who they are.  Amen.   

Chris Gabel