|Israel dies in Egypt, and his body is preserved for return to the Promised Land|
Two things to ponder...not everything is given to every generation in our creation's journey in God's purpose for us; and, we only get to see a portion of that purpose revealed in our lifetime, but God's fidelity to that purpose is manifest in the continuing revelation of grace in our walk with the Divine.
Joseph and Israel offer us their great "exeunt" speeches. Each counsels the the assembled family to be true to themselves, to embrace reconciliation with God and each other and to hold on to their connections to each other and to God. The tension of being caught up in the middle of an unresolved story is seen in the separation of the remains of Joseph and Israel. Israel is buried next to his wife, parents and grandparents in Canaan. Joseph's remains are kept in Egypt, with a promise made by his brothers that they will one day be returned, with their descendants, to the Promised Land. Hold on...more to come!
In the same tension, Jesus' telling his disciples to hold on to the memory of the transfiguration until after the Son of Man is raised, and his frustration with their lack of faith, tells us that the vast work of incarnation experience is no where near fulfillment. We are still seeing Jesus in the process of deepening his revelation as the Son. He heals, he teaches and he mends...
My tidbit for the day, a shekel in a fish?...when Jesus and his disciples return to Capernaum, the people who collect the temple tax ask Peter is Jesus has paid his half-shekel. Peter says yes, without counsel from Jesus and then Jesus asks a "render taxes" teaching. We live in the world as children of God, but in order to NOT offend, fulfill your obligations. We are in the world, but not of it. Jesus puts that concept into a physical, tangible form...and tells Peter to go catch a fish and use the shekel he will find in its mouth to pay the tax for both of them. In the grand expanse of God reconciling creation into union with the Creator we see this small, intimate aside. God is with us at both the cosmic scale, and in the immediate moments that we have in the day to day.