Sept. 11 2011 (Proper 19 A)


The story of 9/11 is still being written. And we still don’t know what God is going to weave out of this mess.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the Old Testament lesson for today is the story of Joseph’s reconciliation with his brothers who sold him into slavery. It contains one of my favorite verses of the Bible: “You meant this for evil, but God has turned it to good…”

Joseph’s story lets us see God’s ability to take evil and turn it into God in surprising ways. In this case in a way which will bring about the salvation and the redemption of the Cosmos.

We may not know what God is doing yet. But we believe that God is at work. And so we live in a moment of hope even while we are still at war.

The story of Joseph ends with his request to have his body embalmed. He believes that eventually, God will win. And he will be carried back to the Holy Land, the land given to his fore-father Abraham. And he will rest beside his kinfolk.
He hopes. He acts on that hope. And he leaves the rest to God.

I think that’s the best thing I can possibly say about the anniversary of the events that we remember today. Let us be Joseph to the world in which we live.

Listen to the sermon here.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...