We are at the last week of our series about Joseph. He has lived through so much that has been terrible but it is a story with a happy ending. Joseph and his father and brothers are reunited and he is able to care for them during the famine years. Joseph believes that God has used the terrible events to show him a way forward.
Reverend Mary reads a version of the end of the story from Joseph’s point of view. He thinks through what has happened and how the events have affected him. If you would like to read the story from your Bible, it covers Genesis chapters 42, 43, 44 and 45. It is quite long but worth keeping going with it as it gives lots of details and is easy to imagine.
The story ends happily because Joseph finds out that he has changed and also that his brothers have changed. They have the opportunity to bring more sorrow to their father but they don’t. Joseph is able to make the first move towards the forgiveness that is needed in their family. Maybe he has been watching and waiting for the chance to do this, praying that they would come to Egypt for food and that they would all be able to get on better. Praying that God would help him to heal the hurt caused. There would need to be many apologies and forgiveness of each other and themselves.
How do you know when someone who has done something wrong is really sorry and wants to make things right with you? Is it with just a ‘soz’? Have a look here at some ideas about how to apologise well and why forgiveness is good for our health. Do these ideas work in our relationship with God as well as with other people?
Just like in the story of Joseph, it usually takes one person to start the process of apology and forgiveness. That person is often said to ‘build bridges’ between people. It can be someone who has been involved or someone from outside the situation. To remind us of this we can use building blocks, other building systems, recycled materials or knotting skills to build small or large bridges. There are some ideas here.
We remember that a bridge links two different areas together. How many bridges do you cross on your way to school or to visit friends or family? Are all of them obvious? What would happen if none of the bridges existed?
People build bridges between two different points of view. This activity asks you to think about some actions that you might come across in life and what actions might be needed to put them right again. How could someone else be involved as a bridge builder for the situations?
We could use this prayer to end our activities this week:
Help us to recognise when we are wrong and to know how to apologise when we need to. Help us too, to forgive others and ourselves as we know you forgive us when we repent.
A quote from Gandhi:
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong"
Who do you need to forgive?
Alison and Angie