the restoration project

recent sermons

Joseph. Week 05

Joseph was described early on by his brothers as “the dream master.” They were joking. But in this story, he interprets the dreams of some fellow inmates. (Joseph would want me to say, “Well, I mean, God interpreted the dreams.” Ok, Joe. Fair point. Still, you seem to demonstrate some mastery over the dreams of others.)

What’s weird about this story is Joseph’s plea to one of the inmates.

After he interprets his dream favorably (in 3 days, he’ll get out of prison), he begs him to “remember him when he gets out … and then to get *him* out of there too.” It’s weird for a guy who isn’t praying in the story. And I think there might be something for us to consider …

the restoration project. Joshua James. 7 February 2021

Joseph. Week 04

Joseph’s rise (for a slave) and fall in Egypt. It’s a sordid tale of sexual misconduct accusations, plots, obedience, and unjust punishment.

What’s it have to do with us? Well, in some ways, nothing. It’s setting up the movement of the narrative to Joseph’s audience with Pharaoh. But in another way, and as with any good story, there are things for us to consider about God’s “withness.”

the restoration project. Joshua James. 31 January 2021

Joseph. Week 03

I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this a series on Joseph?” Yes. Yes, it is. But the way the story is told, the author interposes a chapter on one of Joseph’s brothers, Judah. It seems completely unrelated, and for many years scholars affirmed that conclusion. But really … it has a lot of ties to work precedes and what follows.

**Also, parents and caretakers of kids, you might want to put your earbuds in, unless you want the kiddos hearing Josh say things like, “masturbation,” “coitus interruptus,” and “shrine prostitute.” (Typical sermon stuff.)

the restoration project. Joshua James. 24 January 2021

Joseph. Week 02

Joseph has some dreams … and they don’t go over too well with the brothers. In fact, they want to murder him. (Spoiler: They don’t. But they do sell him into slavery.)

the restoration project. Joshua James. 17 January 2021

Joseph. Week 01

We’re on a brand new SERIES!

We’re talking about Joseph.

You may know the story — punk kid, coat of many colors (although that’s probably a bad translation), has a few dreams, brothers sell him into Egyptian slavery, succeeds and takes on a bunch of responsibility, gets accused of rape, goes to prison, interprets some dreams in “prison,” takes on more responsibility, climbs the ladder, gets some “mental revenge” on his brothers, reconnects with his family, forgives his brothers, and then neatly ties the whole thing up into theological truism.

Now … preaching all that? It’s hard. We tend to want to reduce it to a moral or a point (usually the whole theological truism bit mentioned above).

It’s my hope that we hear the story, we note some new pieces of information, and we let this story sit with us, that we ask questions of it, that we enter in and consider — what is God up to? what are these characters up to? what’s going on?

So in Week 01 … we set the stage.

the restoration project. Joshua James. 10 January 2021

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