Rev Rosie writes about her roses and ...

ROSIE'S ROSES 124th June 2021

Rev Rosie Bunn
Rector of All Saints Church, Belton
St Peter & St Paul Church, Burgh Castle

“It’s a good year for roses” someone said to me recently.  “Take time to smell the roses!” My two old English climbing roses have been planted 10 years now, and this year they have been better than ever.  They each have a different rose smell to the other and we can smell them when we are sitting on the patio
On Wednesday afternoon I was marvelling at the roses, the number of blooms, and how wonderful they looked.  Then we had the rain, and a break on Thursday afternoon and more rain overnight and much of Friday.  Now the blooms don’t look so marvellous, and there are pink petals all over the place.  If I had thought about it, I should have picked some of them, and gathered the rose petals to make confetti for later in the year; but I didn’t
I was thinking about how often things in life come along and mess up the things that we are enjoying.  For some of us, we just get our lives on an even keel and something else happens
Most of us will know the story of Joseph from the Bible.  As a young man, he was his father’s favourite, being given a coat of many colours and everything in his garden was rosy, until he was sent by his father to take provisions to his brothers who were minding the family sheep.  They had had enough of him, and planned to get rid of him.  He had no idea of what was coming to him
His brothers bound him and put him in a deep well, planning to kill him, but God had other ideas
ROSIE'S ROSES 2He was subsequently sold to slave traders who took him to Egypt, where he was paraded in the slave market and sold to a significant household.  During his time there he excelled at his job and was promoted, but just around the corner was an incident where, in trying to behave properly, he angered his master’s wife, and she schemed to get him punished, and Joseph ended up in jail.  When life seemed to be improving, his hopes and dreams were dashed
Even in prison, Joseph sought to help his fellow prisoners.  In placing his trust in his God, despite what was happening to him, God gave him the interpretations of the prisoners’ dreams; and they came true.  Because of these dream interpretations, when the Pharaoh’s wise men and advisers couldn’t tell the Pharaoh what his dreams meant his cupbearer took his like in his hands and told Pharaoh about Joseph
Now Joseph’s life really began to take an upturn.  He was brought before Pharaoh and asked what the dream was and what the interpretation was, and with God’s insight and inspiration, he more than delivered what the Pharaoh had asked for and in doing so landed the second most important position in all of Egypt.  His insight and planning brought the nation of Egypt through the seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine.  For that he was remembered by the people of Israel (his own people) who sought refuge with Joseph in Egypt.  It was through the provision of corn to the Israelites that Joseph was restored to his family, and they to him.  I think he would be amazed to discover that nearly four thousand years later, we still know of the ups and downs of his life
At the beginning of 2020 most of us had no idea how the bad news of the pandemic would affect our lives, or how the ups and downs and unknown pathways that we have navigated through would affect us.  Even now, as a Vicar, I am navigating the ups and downs of our gradual release from lockdown; the hopes and dreams of wedding couples and the pain and frustration of families for whom I am conducting a funeral that their loved ones might be there to support them at such a significant life event
Joseph is one of the biblical characters who has a rough deal dealt to him; for Joseph it was his commitment and his faith in God that saw him through the devastating years, to emerge a different person.  He became wise, instead of being full of youthful pride.  He even managed to forgive his brothers who had sold him into slavery and had told his father he was likely killed by wild animals, and was reconciled with them.  Have the last few months changed you?  Have you had time to “wake up and smell the roses” and rediscover what is important to you in life?  I do hope so.  For Joseph it was during the hard times that he discovered the qualities that would make a difference for the rest of his life


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