REBUILDING A BROKEN FAMILY –based on Genesis 50:15-21
The darkest days our nation has ever seen was the American Civil War. Over 655,000 people were killed in the conflict. Brother rose up against brother, and we are still recovering today from the wounds of that conflict over 150 years ago.
The darkest days of our denomination was the Great Schism of 1881-1883. Despite our ability to stay as one body during the Civil War, we eventually had a three-way split. One group felt we were becoming too much like the world (contemporary dress, majority vote instead of consensus, liberal education). A second group felt we needed to go much further (Sunday school, educate our pastors, use of media). The third group tried to keep both in the fold. These were dark days, filled with brokenness.
Yet, today is an era with extreme brokenness. In our nation, we are at the point of another civil war. It might not be with weapons, but it is certainly with our words. It might not be based upon geography, but on ideology. We only have to look at the current protests over coronavirus as an example of how this is playing out, our the rhetoric surrounding the election. Likewise, we are very broken as a denomination, where rumors circulate of a split on the horizon.
Can that which is broken come back together again? Can a broken family be restored? How can it be rebuilt?
Friends, we can be encouraged through the story of Joseph and his brothers. If there was any family that was broken, it would be this one: brother steals from brother, daughter steals from father, multiple wives and the rivalry it caused, genocide to avenge a sister’s rape, favoritism, selling Joseph into slavery for twenty pieces of silver (well below the average slave rate), and prostitution. This family was as broken as you can get! Yet, at the end of Genesis, they were able to come together as a family again and be fully restored. How did this family rebuild from all the brokenness?
1) Admit failure–the brothers openly admitted they had sinned against Joseph by the actions they took. Yes, they tried a back door approach initially in accepting the fault, but they still did none the less. It was a long journey for the brothers to get to this place, but they eventually admitted the truth and put the blame squarely on their shoulders. What would happen, when a relationship is soured, instead of quickly assigning blame to others, we asked ourselves if we have any role to play?
2) Mourn the broken relationship–when Joseph received the communication from his brothers, he wept. The broken relationship moved him, not to a point of revenge, but a point of restoration. God mourned the broken relationship with humanity, so much so that it moved him to send his Son to restore that which is broken! Mourning moves us toward reconciliation!
3) Operate with humility–when the brothers came in before Joseph, they bowed down. They recognized that Joseph had the ability to enact punishment because of his position. They also fully understood where they stood, and approached with humility. Arrogance destroys relationship. What if, in a broken situation, instead of approaching with labels (Democrat/Republican, progressive/conservative, white/black, etc.), we operated from humility? Humility also recognizes that restoration can only happen if every party wants to be reconciled and that all of us can equally decide the next step.
4) Don’t play God–Joseph could have taken the place of God and served as the judge over his brothers. Instead, he allowed God to take that place. Too often we want to punish those who have wronged us. But what if instead, when a relationship is broken, we put them in the hands of God instead? God sees the big picture; God used the raw deal that Joseph received in order to bring salvation to the whole world.
5) Extend grace–Joseph then extended grace to his brothers, and promised to take care of them through the day of his death. He had no right to do so, but chose to extend grace to his undeserving brothers. What if we did the same? What if, every time we were wronged, we chose to extend grace and kindness?
Joseph’s family shows us a way of restoration. In many ways, we are a family. How can the brokenness within our family be restored? The choice is ours!
Questions for reflection
1) Have we contributed to the brokenness in society? Where have we fallen short?
2) Do we mourn the broken relationships in our lives?
3) Why is it difficult to remain humble when there is someone we are at odds with?
4) Which is harder–to not play God, or to extend grace to one who hurt us? Why?
Pastor Ryan will continue the Rebuilding Series with the sermon titled, “Rebuilding a Shattered Faith,” based upon Exodus 14:5-31. Adversity at times can shatter one’s faith. How was Israel’s rebuilt? And what can we learn from their example? Tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for April 21 – 27
April 21: Judges 7 How did God work his plan of salvation through Gideon?
April 22: 2 Samuel 7 How was David a part of the plan of salvation?
April 23: Daniel 3 How were three Hebrew boys part of the plan for salvation?
April 24: Acts 3:11-4:4 How did Peter and John become part of the plan of salvation?
April 25: Acts 9 How did Paul become part of the plan of salvation?
April 26: Acts 4:23-31 What happened when the disciples were connected to the Holy Spirit?
April 27: Acts 5:17-42 What happened when the disciples were connected to the Holy Spirit?
Beaver Creek will be closed through June 10th, in keeping with Executive Order 53 and the recommendation of the Shenandoah District and the Leadership Team. Should the governor move his timeline, the Leadership Team will reconvene and act in accordance with the information and current guidance.
Although Spring Festival is postponed, there are still two fundraisers that are COVID-19 safe to help support the camp at this time:
1) Hike-in-place-a-thon: Even though you cannot go to camp and hike, you can still hike in place for camp! If you would like to participate in this fundraising effort, please email me or call the church office, and I will get you a form. Likewise, if you would like to sponsor Katie or Samantha, who will both be doing the hike in place, please email me as well and let me know how much you are pledging. You can simply mail the donation to the church office and mark “hike-a-thon” and we will collect it.
2) Dunk the Dunkard: Instead of a dunking booth, you can “dunk” Pastor Ryan ALS ice bucket challenge style! If you would love to see me with a bucket of ice water dumped over my head, please email and sponsor! The goal is at least $200 for camp. If we can get over $200 for camp, Heather will record it, and we will upload the video to the website for all to watch! Again, you can mail the money also to the church, label it “dunk the dunkard”, and we know it will go to camp.
Also, the First Sunday Offering, which will be collected over the next several weeks, will be toward Brethren Woods.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
Accordius Nursing Facility–the nursing home with a COVID-19 outbreak in our area. (Carolyn Wine) Prayers for healing and protection!
Becky Whitmore–Baby is due on April 27th.
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB