New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summary for the 7th Sunday after Epiphany – Year C (February 24th) – Reflections by Rev. Shelley
Genesis 45:3-11, 15: Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. From that terrible beginning he has risen in to a position of power; second only to Pharaoh. With his God given ability to interpret Pharaoh's dream, he has averted starvation for the Egyptian people when famine strikes their land. Famine has come to Canaan too, and eventually his brothers come to Egypt for grain. How will Joseph treat them? Here we see. It is one of the great stories of all time. Forgiveness is given - “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”.
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40: Here the Psalmist again compares the wicked to grass that will wither and fade. If we trust in God, we are not supposed to waste our time worrying about them. We are to spend our time trusting God, doing good, refraining from anger, not fretting. If we do this and delight ourselves in God, the Psalmist says we will be given the desires of our hearts.
I Corinthians 5:35-38, 42.50: Paul anticipates the questions that will arise about the resurrection. How will it work? What will we look like? He reminds the Corinthians that as Adam was our ancestor in the physical sense, so Christ is our ancestor spiritually. Our “new selves” will be linked to our “1st selves” as a seed is linked to the subsequent plant. The 1st is tiny and seemingly inconsequential – but when planted in the soil of the gospel it's final condition is marvellous and brims with life and vitality.
Luke 6:27-38: Here is Luke's version of part of the Sermon on the Mount. If we are indeed filled with God's resurrection power and presence (as St. Paul says) then here are our marching orders on how we are to treat others. Our lives must be filled with the blessed up-side-downness of Kingdom values. Loving our enemies, blessing those who curse us, praying for those who mistreat us. Doing unto others as we would have them to to us. The measure we give will be the measure we'll get back. Truly; no one can live this way without the grace and power and joy of the Holy Spirit within.