First United Methodist Church of Conway, South Carolina
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week 3

Jan 11:     Genesis 37-39 – Joseph, a Life of Promise Slips Away
The story of God’s people now turns to the first-born son of Rachel, Jacob’s beloved and hard earned wife. Joseph’s early story is interrupted by an odd story about Judah (Leah’s fourth son) and family obligations. The stories in these three chapters remind us of the animosity that is often present in families, and illustrate the long term consequences of such enmity. This might be a good day to live out a bit of thanksgiving for our own families. 
Jan 12:     Genesis 40-42 – Joseph Remains Steadfast
With a little time to mature, Joseph’s true character begins to emerge. As he remains steadfast in the face of repeated disappointments, God’s plan for his life begins to unfold. Since we’ve just finished the Christmas season, we should be mindful of another Joseph who dreamed and was used by God for something great. That Joseph also went to Egypt! These early stories of Joseph in Egypt bring Romans 8:37-39 to my mind. 
Jan 13:     Genesis 43-44 – Joseph and Benjamin Reunited
Although Jacob’s fear of losing Benjamin delays God’s blessing, the two sons of Rachel (the favorites of Jacob) are united in Egypt. It would seem that Jacob has forgotten his grandfather’s willingness to sacrifice his own dear son. We are reminded that our failure to trust God and venture out in faith only brings anxiety, and delays God’s blessing. 
Jan 14:     Genesis 45-47 – Jacob’s Family in Egypt
In this reading, Joseph reveals his identity and the entire family is reunited in Egypt where they live out the famine. Joseph’s stature continues to rise as his childhood dreams come to fruition.  Although people often like to find coincidence in life, sometimes God is so clearly present that anyone who is willing can see. 
Jan 15:     Genesis 48-50 – Final Days of Jacob and Joseph
As the stories of the patriarchs come to a conclusion, think back over some of the things these stories have taught us about God, about ourselves, and about our relationship with God.
Jan 16:     Exodus 1-2 – A New Chapter in an Old Story
Beginning a new chapter in this book of God’s self revelation, look for familiar themes, patterns of behavior and signs of divine activity. While you’re looking, look into your own life as well.  How has, or is, God stirring in your life or the lives of loved ones? 
Jan 17:     Exodus 3-4 –The Call of Moses
God calls and Moses offers objections and excuses. Too often, we are Moses! Consider the many excuses Moses gives. Do any seem personally familiar?