“Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you out of this land to the land that God swore the Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’ So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, ‘When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.’ And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.” Genesis 50:24-26
So ends the book of Genesis and the saga of Joseph. Joseph wants his body to rest where it first came into the world. He wants to end where he began. Full circle. Fully rooted in his family, land, culture, and religion of origin.
Joseph began in Canaan. His brothers sold him into slavery. He ended up in Egypt. In Egypt, he was a servant. He was imprisoned. He was put in charge of the country. His family came to Egypt and he was able to sustain them through the drought with the grain stores of Egypt. Joseph is reconciled with his family and they settle in Egypt. But still, Joseph wants his final resting place to be in his original homeland of Canaan. He still longs for what he considers his home.
We live in a time of much migration and mobility. People move from place to place for jobs, for weather, for retirement, to be near kids, for school, for lifestyle, for culture, for love. There is also much migration that occurs because of violence, war, and drought. Migration may be caused by severe weather events, like Hurricane Katrina. Many people left New Orleans and did not go back. With rising sea levels, there will be even more migration.
Our faith teaches that our true home is in God. And God is everywhere. So we can be at home everywhere. We also affirm that God is within us. So wherever we are, God is with us, and we can learn to be at home. We think of Jesus always going from place to place. And everywhere he went, he was at home. May we find our way home to God this Lenten season.
The Earth is full of the glory of God. May we look for that glory everywhere, even within ourselves, and certainly within others. Aware of the presence of God, may we find our true home. Amen.