The Next Chapter

I often write about the seasons of the Church. Today is the last day of a season, but not the last chapter of the story. During Great Lent we read three books from the Old Testament. All three books have come to an end today, but the story is not over. Next week begins a new chapter in the same story of God’s promise.

When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.  Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him, and kissed him.  And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel; forty days were required for it, for so many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days. And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, saying, ‘I am about to die: in my tomb which I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there shall you bury me.’ Now therefore let me go up, I pray you, and bury my father; then I will return.”  And Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear.”  So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen.  And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; it was a very great company.  When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days.  When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abelmizraim; it is beyond the Jordan.  Thus his sons did for him as he had commanded them; for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite, to possess as a burying place.  After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.  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. So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s house; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.  And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation; the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph’s knees.  And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”  Then Joseph took an oath of the sons of Israel, saying, “God will visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”  So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Genesis 49:33-50:26

Our chapter today ends how it began. “God will visit you and bring you up out of this land.” The promise of God’s rescue has been our hope since Adam and Eve left the Garden. The same hope will ‘get us through’ Holy Week next week.

God is coming my brothers and sisters. We just don’t know when. If we have learned anything this past forty days, I pray we have learned to trust God’s promise. Next week we will hear the Church compare Christ to Joseph, who kept his family safe in Egypt.

The Jews went to Egypt because of their actions when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. In a way we have sold ourselves into slavery. We will live in servitude to a foreign power because of our sin. Just as Joseph saved his family, Christ saves us.

We know this because we know the ‘rest’ of the story. We know (in the very next book of the Bible) that Moses comes and leads the Jews out of Egypt. We will hear Christ compared to Moses next week too.

Here’s the deal. Don’t panic. Remain calm. Sure, we will struggle waiting, but Christ will come. He always comes. In the meantime, let’s move on to the next chapter of Holy Week. It may be the last time we are alive to walk the last days of Christ. Maybe this will be the year He comes.

As this is the last entry in our 2024 Daily Lenten Journey, I pray it has been a blessing for you and your family. We will take a step back from daily posts during Holy Week. You’ll still hear from me, but not every day. Together we should focus on being in Church for Holy Week.


  1. Theresa Morgan on April 26, 2024 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for the daily inspirations. We can say with John “Come, Lord Jesus.”

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