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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Be Like Joseph

By Rev. Caroline Osborne

In the book of Genesis, when Joseph is in prison in Egypt, he interprets a dream for Pharaoh. Through the dream and through Joseph, God reveals to Pharaoh that the whole region is going to go through seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advises Pharaoh to save a great deal from the years of abundance so that the people will be able to survive the years of famine. When everything comes to pass just as God warned, Joseph, by now in charge of both the saving and distribution of the grain, is able to provide grain not only for the people of Egypt but even for people who come from foreign lands. Joseph, who rose to a position of power and plenty through his own work and ethics but mostly through divine providence, was able to help those who had had no warning.

During this year, many people are facing great challenges, financial, physical, and otherwise. Some of us, however, have somehow come through largely unscathed by the pandemic, the storms, and the fires. Like Joseph, this is our opportunity to share the abundance we have with those who, often through no fault of their own, suddenly find themselves struggling.

An easy way to help others at this time is to support local charities that already have the networks and methods in place to provide aid. This is especially important for charities that are facing unusually high demand (which is most of them) or who have seen significant decreases in support. Some charities, such as Open Arms Village, have been unable to hold the annual fundraisers that provide the majority of their financial support. If you are in a position of abundance, I would encourage you to pray and ask God how you, like Joseph, can be used by the Lord to provide for others in their time of need.

For example, I mentioned Open Arms Village above, and it offers an excellent example of an easy way to help. This ministry, which helps homeless men get off the streets and get back on their feet, is in desperate need of paper supplies and other household items (see the list below). All you have to do is pick up some of these supplies on your next grocery shopping trip and drop them off at the ministry.

Paper plates Paper bowls Plastic knives, forks, and spoons Paper napkins Paper towels

Hand sanitizer Bath and hand towels Blankets

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