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When the bell rang, announcing that lunch recess was over, we'd all run
over to the North entrance of Edgemere Elementary School, line up and wait
for Mrs. Walls, our 5th grade teacher to come and escort us
into the room. It wasn't a sad time, like you might think, we were happy
to be going inside because as soon as we got to the room, we'd put our
heads down on our desks and listen to Mrs. Walls read us a story.
Some days we traveled down the Mississippi with Huck Fin and Tom Sawyer,
others we sat beside Thoreau on Walden's Pond. But my favorite trip that
we took was to Ancient Egypt with Joseph. Mrs. Walls read to us straight
from the Bible what has become one of my favorite stories.
Later, when I took Hebrew in Seminary, it was this story that we translated
from the Hebrew text and several times over the course of my ministry I've
either preached sermons based on this story or did a dramatic monologue,
dressed in costume as Joseph. But none of those encounters with this text
can ever replace the first time I heard the story in my 5th
With my eyes closed, the only reminder I had that I was still in modern
times was the cold desktop that was pressed against my cheek. I could see
the brilliance of the coat of many colors and feel the dampness in the
pit. I felt Joseph's despair when he was down, and elation when he was
It is a story of courage, of determination and success. But more than
that, it is a story of God's providence and watch care over His people.
Put your heads on your desks, if you will. Get quite. I want to tell you
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional.