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Talk about messy families! Jacob, one of the Patriarchs of Israel, had twelve sons. His marriage to Leah and her sister Rachel was awkward from the start, but of their twelve children he loved Joseph and Benjamin the best, for they were his beloved wife Rachel’s children. His other sons knew he loved Joseph best, and that made for some ugly dinners, I’ll bet. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery. Eventually, Joseph was thrown into prison on a bogus charge. Then Pharaoh raised him up, and Joseph helped save the people of Egypt – and the brothers who had sold him – during a famine. He offered forgiveness as well as food. “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) Is your family a bit messy? Do you sometimes dread holidays? God has a plan for you and your family. He may want to use you to bring joy and peace this holiday.
Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
In cooperation with orders from the PA Department of Health, and out of a heart of concern and care for our community, masks are now required for everyone ages 2+ while inside Parker Hill Church buildings.
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