It’s hard being a parent when you have to discipline your kids – their little heads hang so low automatically, then we say something like – “And look at me when I’m speaking to you!” It’s so much nicer when they’ve done good work, or a kind act, and we praise them. They have no problems looking us in the eye then – those heads bob up with eager expectation. Those moments make it all worthwhile.
Just reading through the story of Joseph and Pharaoh made me think about that. Pharaoh ‘lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: he restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand – but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.’ (Genesis 40:20-22)
God raised Joseph up too – to a position perhaps even higher than he had dreamed – though he had had some pretty high aspirations in his early days, back home with his family, in Genesis 37. Pharaoh recognized the wisdom and discernment that this young man exhibited, and put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt (Genesis 41:37-44). You don’t get much higher than that…or do you?
As we celebrate Easter, we remember that God raised Jesus from the dead, and that he is now seated in glory at the right hand of the Father. And what is more, ‘God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.’ Ephesians 2:5-7
With Easter came the real hope that each one of us, guilty or falsely accused, young or old, free or in prison, rich or poor could be set free from our past, from our wrongdoing, from our limited mindsets, from our limited capabilities and limited visions, from the sin that entangles us and the frailty that holds us back; that we might be filled with the Spirit of the Living God, that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens and enables us. The sky is literally the limit!
Then our Father will have the joy of seeing our heads lifted up. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21)
What dreams do you dream?