On Sunday (13 August 2023) I will preach from these readings at Trinity Episcopal Church. I offer my translations for those of you also preparing sermons. You may cite them with attribution to me, published under my trademark: Womanists Wading in the Word™.
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Genesis 37:1 Now Jacob settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob: Joseph at seventeen years of age, shepherded the flocks with his brothers, as an errand boy to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought bad beyond bad reports of them to their father.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all all his children, for he was the child of his old age; so he had made for him a multi-colored tunic reaching to the wrists and ankles. 4 And when his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than any of his sisters or brothers, they hated him; so much so that they could not speak a peaceable word to him.
12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here am I.”14 And Israel said to him, “Go, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock and bring me back word.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. And he came to Shechem.
15 And a person found him and see here, he was wandering in the fields. The person asked Joseph, “For what do you search?” 16 He answered, “For my brothers do I search. Tell me, please, where they are pasturing.” 17 The person said, “They have set out from here, for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.” So Joseph went after them and found them at Dothan. 18 And they saw him from afar, and before he came close to them they conspired to kill him. 19 Then they said to one another, “Look! Here comes this dreamer – this master of dreams. 20 Come, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits and then we will say that a wild animal has devoured him and, we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
21 But Reuben heard and he saved him from them. He said, “Let us not take his life.” 22 Then Reuben said, “Shed no blood! Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, yet do not touch him yourselves”— in order to save him from them and return him to his father. 23 And it was that when Joseph came to his brothers that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the multi-colored tunic reaching to the wrists and ankles that was upon him. 24 Thus they took him and threw him into the pit and the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat to eat a meal and looking up suddenly they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead and camels carrying gum, balm and myrrh, to be taken down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and concealing his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not lay hands on him for he is our brother; he is our flesh.” And his brothers hearkened. 28 Then, persons who were Midianite traders passed by and they pulled Joseph up out of the pit. Then they sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites and they brought Joseph to Egypt.
Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b
1 Give thanks to the Creator of All, call upon God’s Name,
make known God’s deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to God, sing praises to God;
Speak on all her wonders.
3 Praise God’s holy Name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Fount of Life rejoice.
4 Seek the Mighty One and the strength of God;
seek God’s face always.
5 Remember the wonders God has made,
God’s miracles and the judgments of God’s mouth:
16 God summoned a famine upon the land,
and broke every staff of bread,
17 God’s sent before them a person,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were afflicted in fetters,
an iron collar put upon his neck –
19 until what he said came to pass,
the word of the Holy One proved him.
20 The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21 He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to restrain his officials at his pleasure,
and to teach his elders wisdom.
45 That they might keep the king’s statutes
and observe his laws.
Romans 10:5 Now Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” That is, to bring Christ down. 7 “Or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” That is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” That is, the word of faith that we proclaim:
9 If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Sovereign and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a woman or man believes and is made righteous, and with the mouth a person confesses and so is saved. 11 Indeed, the scripture says, “one who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek because the same Sovereign is sovereign over all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Sovereign shall be saved.”
14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Matthew 14:22 Now immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side as he released the crowds of women, children and, men. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain on his own to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 24 But the boat was many furlongs from the land – far off – battered by the waves; for the wind was against them. 25 Then, in the fourth watch of the night (between midnight and dawn), Jesus came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him upon the sea, walking, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, “Be courageous, it is I; be not afraid.”
28 Then Peter answered him, “Holy One, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking upon the water and came toward Jesus. 30 Then Peter noticed the strong wind, became frightened and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Holy One, save me!” 31 Then immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And as they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
The RCL readings translated by the Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.+
The Right Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School