The Epistle lesson for this weekend is a bit lengthy, I Corinthians 15:21-42. It begins and ends with some great good news. “For since a man brought death, a Man, also brought the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (Vs 21-22)”
Then at the end you will hear, “That is how it will be when the dead are raised. When the body is sown, it decays; when it is raised, it cannot decay. (V. 42).”
It’s in between the beginning and the new beginning where life is challenging. The entrance Psalm (Ps. 37) begins and ends with, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way.”
The gospel lesson from Luke 6 begins, “But I tell you who are listening: Love your enemies, be kind to those who hate you.” Near the end of the lesson, “Stop judging, and you will not be judged. Stop condemning, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
The Old Testament lesson from Genesis 45 tells of the occasion when Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers who had sold him into slavery several years ago. They are dismayed. But Joseph invites them, “Come near to me, please.” He invites his brother to come near not to take their life, in return for what they did to him, but give them life. Joseph tells his brothers, “It was not you who sent me here, but God.”
Indeed, good news from beginning to new beginning. What will we do with such good news this week? Will we heed it in the week ahead or will we rationalize it away? Pray the Spirit that we read, learn, mark and digest it.