Starting October 11, Bethel UMC and Woodlawn UMC are holding services in their churches. Sunday Service at Bethel UMC will be on Facebook Live and will be on Zoom. Please join us by going to email@example.com and leave us a message to get on Zoom. An email will be sent to you in order to join the meeting. Please check the calendar on this website for times.
Torah Reading for November 15-21, 2020
Welcome to the sixth week of the Providence season! Last week you heard Jesus saying to us, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses [Torah] and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled…” (Luke 24:44). Jesus, then, did something extraordinary. He opened their minds to understand Scriptures. Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and that on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:45-48).With this in mind, let us look at this week’s Torah encoded reading, Genesis 44:18-47:26. In the Hebrew language (God’s sacred tongue) from which our English Bible translation was taken, this week’s Torah encoded reading is called, “Vayigash,” translated, “And he approached him,” see Genesis 44:18
To understand this, one has to, first of all, identify the double references in the text. On a simple linguistic level which is intended primarily to the Jewish audience, the reading focuses on the code “Vayigash,” translated, “And he approached him.” Thus, in the opening part of the reading, we are told that Judah goes up to Josephto plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin’s stead. In the main part of the reading, we see that Joseph upon witnessing his brothers’ loyaltyto one another, hereveals his identityto them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still alive?” Please note that the brothers are overcome by shame and remorse, but Joseph comforts them. “It was not you who sent me here,” he says to them, “but God. It has all been ordained from above to save us, and the entire region, from famine.” The brothers, then, rush back to Canaanwith the news. Jacobcomes to Egypt with his sons and their families, seventy soulsin all and is reunited with his beloved son after twenty-two (22) years. On his way to Egypt he receives the divine promise: “Fear notto go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you into Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.” The reading ends with Pharaoh giving Jacob’s family the fertile county of Goshento settle, and the children of Israelprosper in their Egyptian exile.
On a deeper theological level, this week’s Torah reading of “Vayigash” (And he approached him) intended for us Christians and others, has a profound message to all of us, the Church, the Body of Christ. This message is evident when the reading is interpreted in the context of this sixth week of the Providence season, And that is, despite the fact that we are guilty of the sins that we have done to others, our God remains patient and hopeful that we will repent of our sins. What, then, do we need to do? We need to reconcile ourselves with our fellow brothers and sisters and be re-united again. How do we know that? Listen, again, to our text for this week. ‘Then Judah went up to him and said, “O my lord, let your servant I pray you, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not your anger burn against your servant…” Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried…And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” (Gen. 44:18; 45:1-3). This proves that our God is a great and awesome God because while we as yet sinners, God Himself paid the redemption price so that we would all be re-united with Him. It is no wonder why the prophet Isaiah tells us, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole; and with his stripes we are healed,” (Isa. 53:5). “Therefore, my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices, my body also dwells secure,” Jesus said, “for thou dost not give me up to Sheol or let thy godly one see the Pit” (Ps. 16:9-10). Jesus, then, leaves us with these words, “If only you yourselves knew this day the things that made for peace. But now they are hid from your eyes.” (Luke. 19:41-42).
|Adult Sunday School||10:00 AM|
|Worhip Service||11:00 AM|
|Church Wide Bible Study||6:30 PM|
3180 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Clarksville, TN 37042