What I’m Thinking: Anticipating Weeping

Joseph wept so loudly when revealing himself to his brothers that, despite sending everyone away, they heard him through the walls. May we ever weep so!

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the 45th chapter of Genesis (Genesis 45:1-15) in which the long conflict between Joseph and his brothers finds its resolution.

The origins of that conflict – well, the first of them was the attitude of their father, Jacob. Jacob, with words and with deeds, clearly indicated that Joseph was the favorite son. That’s never a great foundation for family relations. Joseph himself had gone on to contribute to this. He’d had dreams about finding himself in a position of authority over his brothers. He imagined their stooks of wheat bowing down to him. In a choice that was not caring or compassionate and certainly not wise, he chose to tell his brother about those dreams.

Dreams are one thing. Sharing them: that’s another.

In a crime that echoes through the Scriptures, Joseph’s brothers decided to sell him into slavery.

At this point in chapter 45, the dreams have been fulfilled. The brothers did bow to Joseph. Joseph was in a position of great authority – second in the land of Egypt. At this point, however, Joseph sends everybody except his brothers away. He began to weep and he began to embrace them.

It’s the weeping that strikes me. Genesis says that it was so loud that the Egyptians outside the hall could hear. Joseph wept so loudly that Pharaoh could hear.

We find ourselves in a weeping time. Weeping for the distance that we have to keep from one another. Weeping for the things that we thought were set and fixed and are not. Weeping for… weeping for the griefs that we endure. Although we in Hilo have lost nobody to COVID-19, people have continued to pass away amongst our families and our friends. We have to mourn them that are uncomfortable, strange, unfamiliar, and lacking the traditions that have held us up for so long.

But it is not that kind of weeping that Joseph did. Joseph wept because they had found their reconciliation. Joseph had made his own reconciliation. The brothers, admittedly, are still a little behind on this, but the brothers had done something for Benjamin, Joseph’s younger full brother and his likely successor as Jacob’s favorite. They had defended Benjamin which they had not done for Joseph.

In Joseph’s heart, it seems that constituted a reconciliation, and so he wept.

So he wept.

May similar weeping lie ahead for us all: the weeping of reconciliation, the weeping of renewal, the weeping of embracing, the weeping of love.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

What I’m Thinking will take a two-week break, returning on August 31st.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on August 10, 2020

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  1. by Corinne Murashige

    On August 10, 2020

    Interesting! I never thought about the brothers’ change of heart toward Benjamin as a facet of the reconciliation…doing for him what they would not have done for Joseph.

    I could use some happy weeping for a change. How about you?

  2. by holycrosshilo

    On August 14, 2020


    – Pastor Eric

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