A Boy Who Dreamed (February 5)

Genesis 37:2-11, 19-20, 26-27; 45:4-5


“Joseph’s brothers tried to murder him by throwing him in a pit, but if they had ever been brought to trial, they wouldn’t have needed Clarence Darrow to get them an acquittal in any court in the land. Not only did Joseph have offensive dreams in which he was Mr. Big and they were all groveling at his feet but he recounted them in sickening detail at the breakfast table the next morning. He was also his father’s pet, and they seethed at the sight of the many-colored coat he flaunted while they were running around in T-shirts and dirty jeans….

Almost as much as it is a story of how Israel was saved from famine and extinction, it is the story of how Joseph was saved as a human being. It would be interesting to know which of the two achievements cost God the greater effort and which was the one he was prouder of (“Joseph and His Brethren,” Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who’s Who, Frederick Buechner, pp. 77-79).”

Teaching Suggestions

•    Invite a child to class and ask, “What are your dreams?” Tara Farmer and I can help arrange a child’s visit to your class for you.

•    Our Mission Statement and our Core Values have grown out of members’ understanding of God’s dream or vision for the church:
o    Mission Statement: Lexington Avenue Baptist Church exists to proclaim the Good News of Christ Jesus to all people, to promote private and congregational worship, to nurture Christian growth, and to sustain others through service, love, prayer and fellowship.
o    Core Values: Baptist Heritage, Worship, Music, Prayer, Spiritual Growth, Friendliness, Caring, and Missions

•    Discerning God’s dream for Lexington Avenue Baptist Church (See also “My Dreams for the Future,” Formations Teaching Guide, p. 33). Question for prayer, reflection, and dialogue: “Given the unique gifts and personality of Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, our context, and our understanding of God’s call for the church revealed in scripture and through prayer, what is God’s dream for Lexington Avenue Baptist Church?” The questions from the section, “Success in Our Churches” in the Formations Commentary (p. 33) can help stimulate your reflection on God’s dream for the church. Share your answers with Tommy or Keith.

•    A biblical map or atlas can help follow Joseph’s movement from his home to Egypt.

•    If you want to go more in depth into family dynamics/family dysfunction Tommy and I have a book by Wade Rowatt, Adolescents in Crisis, with chapter titled, “Family Problems” (chapter 5, pp. 75-93). It deals with various family dynamics and problems and how they may be dealt with more appropriately and constructively.

•    The Formations Commentary refers to a song in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (p. 31). A clip from the musical can be found here, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat clip.


•    “Joseph is Taken to Egypt,” map, pictures, article in A Visual Guide to Bible Events, James C. Martin, and others (Baker Books, 2009), pp. 26-27. There are other maps and atlases available around the church.

•    In my office: “Joseph and His Brethren,” Peculiar Treasures: A Biblical Who’s Who, Frederick Buechner, (Harper and Row, 1979, pp. 77-79).

•    Adolescents in Crisis: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, Ministers, and Counselors, G. Wade Rowatt (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), chapter 5, “Family Problems”, pp. 75-93.

•    For additional commentary on the text, see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)