Festival of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop and Confessor
Posted on November 11, 2023 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 50:15-23 (NKJV)
50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
22 So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees.
Today’s reading reminds us that God often works in ways that don’t make sense to us when we are going through rough times. One only needs to look back upon the story of Joseph and how his jealous brothers sold him into slavery, and then told their father that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. For years Joseph’s father, Jacob, thought his son was dead, while at the same time Joseph found himself enslaved to the Egyptians. It is a dire story that had an outcome only God could orchestrate: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
With that thought in mind, I would ask you to consider someone you may not have given much, if any, thought to when you read today’s lesson. That person is Jacob. While it is easy for us to understand the suffering Joseph endured, we can just as easily forget the suffering Jacob endured all those many years when he thought his most favored son was dead, and all the time Jacob didn’t get to spend with Joseph. The pangs Jacob felt all those years were finally relieved when he heard that Joseph was alive. Of all that had happened to Jacob and Joseph, “God meant it for good.”
Prayer: O God, our Refuge and Strength, Who art the Author of all godliness: Be ready, we beseech Thee, to hear the devout prayers of Thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully, we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
The Collect for the Festival of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop and Confessor
O God, who didst call Martin to preach the Gospel, grant to Thy servants steadfastness in the confession of the true faith that they would preach that unchanging Gospel in the midst of the darkness of this age, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.