Garry spoke this morning from Gen 47:1-11, when Joseph presented his family to Pharaoh. We can imagine the different worlds clashing – Joseph’s nomadic farming family meeting Pharaoh, a meeting that under normal circumstances would never have ccome about. But Joseph had proved himself a valuable ally and trusted worker to Pharaoh and therefore they were acceptable to Pharaoh because of their connection to Joseph.

We too are brought before God through the sacrifice of Jesus. A holy God welcoming sinful people – how can this be?! Only those with clean hands and a pure heart could ascend the mountain of the Lord (Ps 24:3-4), but Jesus comes as our representative, taking on flesh, dwelling among us (John 1:14) and making a way for us to be acceptable to God. We are now of the same family (Heb 2:10-12); He is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters and experienced first hand the ups and downs of life, the joys, disappointments and sorrows. Jesus suffered for us (Heb 5) so that He has become a high priest forever (see Heb 6:19-20, Heb 7:25-27).

Not only do we gain access to God through Jesus, we gain blessing. Just as Joseph’s family were given the best grazing land for their flocks entirely through grace, now we have been blessed beyond belief by God (see Eph 1:3, 7-8) Sometimes we are unaware of all He has done for us, but as we take Communion each week, we can remember and count the blessings He has achieved for us. We have salvation so we can stand faultless before a holy God. We have gaied a Father who knows us, loves us, holds us and works for us. We have God with us continually to support and guide. We can give thanks for all He has done and for all there is to come.