Lesson Developed by
Jill Olds, Victoria Crook and Zachary Ludwig
Reconciliation, as seen in Joseph
Tips to Prepare
- If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
- If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform
NOTE: This is the end of a long story of Jacob’s struggles. A synopsis for the youth would be helpful, such as the one found here
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. 4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’ 12And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. 13You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
16When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. 17Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan. 18Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’ 19You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’“
Introduction for Leaders
- Begin with a check in with members
- Read the focal scripture with each person reading a few verses
- Open with prayer
Exercise 1: Role Play
- Break the youth up into groups of three and give them a scenario to “mediate”.
- Two students are in a disagreement while the other serves as the “mediator”. It can as simple as two neighbors are in a disagreement about what to do with stray cats in the neighborhood, but they have to reach decision by the end of it.
- Give the groups up to 10 minutes to resolve the conflict.
- Discuss what the process was like, and ask what it took to come to an agreement/reconciliation? Were they able to come to an agreement/reconciliation?
Watch together this clip of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. (Though do note that this scene is whitewashed)
Reflect Together on the Following Questions:
- What does it mean to see that God works things towards good in the end? What about for those of us stuck in the middle? Does this strike you as hopeless or hopeful?
- This story brings to mind the theme of “reconciliation,” where a relationship that was broken is brought back together. Do those things ever really heal, especially when there is abuse involved? (The difference between forgiveness and reconciliation might be helpful here, as would be highlighting the need for safety about all else.)
- What emotions can be found in the midst of reconciliation? How does that change a person? Where is God in it?
- What might reconciliation look like in our communities? In our country? Our world?
Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)