This is the story of a family.
More specifically it is the story of a family with dark secrets that destroy it.
Surprisingly it is also the story of bringing good out of bad.
It is a story that shows us something about God and the way of God in a world full of dark secrets that are eating it alive.
Stories. When we tell them, when we hear them, when we tell them over and over, they help bring the world back together, they help life to make sense again.
This is the story of a family.
This is the story of the family of Jacob.
A wild pack of boys and one daughter.
It is the beginning of the story of Joseph, and how Joseph saved the world, despite the dark secrets, Joseph had dreams, dreams of God in the world.
It is the story of a dream that pulls the world back together, back from the brink.
It starts with dark clouds gathering and suddenly a dark dragon rises from a stormy sea, the family flies apart, the world falls apart, life is washed away.
The story. A bunch of boys, they single out one to resent, the one who was different, they descend into a pack mentality and they strike at their prey.
Joseph is ambushed, betrayed. Thrown into a pit. They debate killing him, selling him as a slave, two of the older ones try to plan a rescue. In the confusion, Joseph goes missing.
Someone else comes along and takes him. They lose him. Joseph disappears into the world of human trafficking.
The dark secrets that packs of boys so often fall prey to. They hide it. They lie. They tell their father he was eaten by wild animals. That he fell when they weren’t looking.
The dragon washes the family away in its secrets and grief and shame.
Joseph the dreamer, his story begins, the story of bringing good out of bad, of a dream that saves the world from its dark secrets. A dream of God and the way of God in a world of dark secrets, of God pushing back the waves and pulling life back together. The way of God. The dream.
John the Baptist was murdered, by a pack of boys trapped in dark secrets, but these were grown men, King Herod among them. They were pawns in games of imperial power, and they got caught up in abusing that power. They killed John. The dragon rises from its storm and washes away their humanity, their reason, their sanity.
Jesus was devastated.
He sought to go off alone, to grieve, to pray, but the hungry and sick pursued him, refugees from the gathering storm.
The world loses its hold on reality, it quickly falls apart, the storm rages, the disciples are lost at sea.
And then it happens.
The dream of God in a world of dark secrets.
Jesus treads on the dragon, pushing back the waves, quieting the storm, bringing the world back together.
He wasn’t walking on water, he was walking on the darkness that destroys all that is good and beautiful and hopeful.
The way of God in the world.
Bringing good from bad.
They knew. This wasn’t a ghost or a miracle worker, only God pushes back the dragon, only God pulls creation back together.
Peter. He is many things in this story. There have been many ways of speaking about Peter.
Peter tells Jesus that if he is who he appears to be, then command Peter to walk on the dragon as well, to bring life back from the brink.
I think Peter was courageous and wonderfully foolish.
For a moment he does it. But the darkness is too great. He loses the dream and starts to sink into nothingness. Jesus pulls him back up. The storm ends.
A story of the way of God in the world.
It inspires us to face our dark secrets, our violence, and abuse, and to bring life to those who are trapped in pits of predation.
It is the way of God in a world of dark secrets, it is the dream that pulls life and love and family and beauty and wonder back from the brink.
Tell these stories to each other over and over.
Live the dream.