Today’s Old Testament reading, from the very end of the book of Genesis, describes the death of Jacob in Egypt, and what followed: ‘When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, ‘Say to Joseph, Forgive, I pray you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ And now, we pray you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him, and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Fear not, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he reassured them and comforted them’.

God turns many harmful events in our own lives to good, embracing them and converting them into His own good purpose. So it can be on a larger scale: world events, though evil, can be turned into opportunities for compassion and service to those most in need. So it can be with the challenges of our time.

May God bless you and keep you, and show the light of His countenance upon you, and give you His peace, this day and always.