Summary: Message detailing some stories about prisons and connecting it to the life of Joseph, then finally directly it back to our own lives.
INTRO: I teach US History, and when I get to the 1950’s and 1960’s I begin studying a whole lot of demonstrations.
There’s demonstrations like a Lunch Counter Sit-In, a march over a bridge in Selma, Alabama. There are demonstrations at Kent State protesting the Vietnam War, and demonstrations protesting…well…family values at Woodstock. Since then, I saw a man demonstrating outside a car show playing the ukelele, who happened to drive in a car to his protest. I saw a photo of naked Australians spelling out NO WAR in the sand to give a message to George W. Bush in 2003. I think the oddest demonstration I’ve ever heard about is when German farmers protested falling milk prices by spraying cops right in the face with milk…squeezed directly from the cow!
But you know what is the single greatest demonstration in the world? The single greatest demonstration in the world is when someone displays the love of Christ to the least of these.
And who are the least of these? Well, widows, orphans, and….PRISONS
BIBLE VERSE: Hebrews 13:1-3
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
BECAUSE THIS WEEK’S LESSON IS ABOUT PRISON: THIS LESSON WILL DEAL WITH PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS PRISONER IN THE BIBLE: JOSEPH.
BIBLE VERSE: GENESIS 37
1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad reportabout them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.