Reading this story as an adult it seems strange to me that this was the first Bible story I knew as a child. For me it wasn’t Noah’s ark or the birth of baby Jesus; it was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, because, you guessed it, I saw the play. I guess it would be more accurate to say I knew the play first, not the Bible story, but the musical tells the story remarkably accurately for a stage show, albeit with a little more “color,” you might say. But still, I remember very clearly on the day I got my Bible in 3rd grade from Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indialantic, Florida, flipping through the thin pages of Genesis to find the start of that one story I knew first and best, the story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. It gets going only two chapters earlier than we read this morning, in chapter 37 if you want to go back to read the whole thing.
It is quite a dramatic story. Today’s television political dramas, like House of Cards and Scandal, with their racy subject matter, violence, and dramatic plot twists have nothing on Joseph’ saga. It starts with what amounts to an arms race of births.