The Pastor's Pen
One of the Bible’s greatest wisdom books is the book of Job. From its beginning in the heavenly council as Satan presents God with a challenge, to the ash heap of Job’s life after God accepts that challenge we marvel at Job’s tenacity. From the spiteful words of Job’s wife to the comfortless comfort of his friends we can offer no better answer. Through chapter after chapter of back and forth until finally God answers in a whirlwind; only it’s not the question that anybody asked. The book of Job challenges our understanding of God and life and how the two intersect. This Lenten season we will explore this magnificent composition that is numbered among the greatest literature of all time.
We all suffer – personally and privately. We also suffer in more public ways. A husband loses a job. A child gets divorced. A parent dies. But we don’t just suffer alone; now, thanks to the media, we are able to see and experience more and more of the world’s catastrophes and suffering. Mudslides in California, Syrian refuge camps, car bombings in Tehran all brought to us in living-color at almost real-time. We need the book of Job, now, more than ever.
Martin Luther asserted that “Job is magnificent and sublime as no book of Scripture.” Others have called Job “the Shakespeare of the Bible.” The early Christian scholar Jerome perhaps put it best when he called the book of Job an “eel,” since the more one tries to contain it, the slipperier it becomes! The purpose of our Lenten emphasis is to learn how to apply Job to our lives so that the book becomes less like an eel and more like a loving companion through life’s dark valleys.
These are the sermon dates, titles and texts as planned:
Job’s most famous statement appears in 19.25, “I know that my Redeemer lives.” Christ is alive.He has conquered death and the grave. His word is sufficient. His grace is enough. His love brings comfort and healing. And this Lent these gifts come to us through the book of Job.