by Kimberley Pfeiffer
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The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper (Genesis 39:23).
Integrity. That’s the quality that comes to mind when I think of Joseph. Joseph earned his master’s trust and served him so well that eventually, he became his right-hand man. Why and how did he do the right thing? Especially with such ability, even when he was wronged and put in prison? Was it because he was ruthless, cunning, competitive, driven, ambitious, or striving after money and power?
No, his motivation didn’t come from the worldly kingdom at all. It came from the kingdom of God, from God himself. As a Hebrew person, Joseph had special access to God through the promise of his forefathers. He knew God’s love for him; it was reflected toward him by his father Israel’s love. Joseph also knew that to sin against his master on earth was also to commit a far graver sin, to sin against his master in heaven. The two kingdoms were intimately connected in his every meditation and decision. Joseph was living with his God, ‘the Lord was with him, and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper’.
In Christ, we, like Joseph, are given special access to God. You may have struggled in your efforts at integrity in your life. If so, take heart – in Christ, you are also given a straight path towards it. Not by focusing on the tasks set before you, but by focusing on God through his Son. By the power of the gospel, we are forgiven all our sins and renewed. As we keep our eyes on Christ, we are helped along by the Spirit to turn away from the temptations that block our path. When we slip, we are picked up and set back on the path by his word and sacrament. Simultaneously, we are strengthened and renewed again and again to enter into our earthly vocations by his grace. As we grow, we, like Joseph, are given the joy of living in God’s radiant light, knowing that the Lord is with us in all that we do and is blessing the work of our hands.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus into the world to open to us a door to your gracious and unfailing love. Lord, have mercy on me and help me in my weakness. Forgive my sins against you and the ones you have called me to love and serve. Please help sustain me by your word and sacrament so I can live in peace with you now and into eternity. In Christ, Amen.