So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Devotion by Chris Shiver
We all want our share of love and attention. So what happens when someone seems to be getting more than their fair share of physical attributes, or intelligence, or abilities, or attention? Do we see that as a threat and band together to try and suppress the one who is different, or do we embrace them as one of us, as someone who can enhance our community?
Joseph’s brothers couldn’t understand or accept someone who was special so they tried to destroy him, even though he would become the one who saved his family. When Jesus appeared, he was treated in the same way because people didn’t understand that someone who was most favored by God, was also the one who was opening up a new path to God’s love.
In the end we must decide if we will treat each person we meet who is remarkably different from us in some way as someone who is scary, who we should resist, or as someone who has the potential to bring new meaning to our lives. The outcome of this struggle, which likely dates back to the first human communities, may ultimately decide the fate of humanity.
Jesus, I pray that I my first reaction to each new person I meet will not be an assessment of what kind of threat they pose, but rather how might I best share your love with them. Amen.