I’ve asked “Where are you God?” and “What have you done for me lately?” before. In times of loneliness or loss or impatience, it is easy to doubt God’s presence and work in the world. When we move beyond our own situation (even if temporarily) and look around, we see all that God created. We see the clouds that produce rain, and we hear thunder during a storm. We stand in awe of the God who navigates the sand, sea, and skies so that lion and raven have food for themselves and their offspring. The God in Job definitely is a God of power and might. Job questions and God responds with “Here is what I have done. What have you done?” In this scripture, God calls us to recognize God’s place in the world God created. This passage highlights God’s presence in nature, with the lightning and the lion. With the rain and the raven. God created all these things and continues to be a part of these things. And yet. . . .
And yet, I do not quite resonate with the powerful God depicted in Job. We know Job is suffering and either God doesn’t know about it (God does) or God doesn’t care (does God?). And this is the heart of the problem for me. I prefer a God who is loving and knowledgeable far more than a God of power. A God of love would answer, “Here I am. I am always with you.” A God of knowledge would say, “I understand your pain. I have wept with you and walked with you and given you community to share in your grief.” Job doesn’t necessarily experience God in that way, but God’s love is present: in creation and provision for creation. Divine love abounds, even when we are too wrapped up in our own situation to see it.

God of grief and glory, may we celebrate your power, trust in your knowledge, and lean into your love. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 10:35-45

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Lectionary Week
October 15–21, 2018
Scripture Overview

At this point in Job’s story, God has heard questions from Job and long-winded moralizing by three of Job’s friends, who have pronounced that his misfortunes are divine judgment. Now God has heard enough and declares that God’s perspective is superior to theirs. God has been there from the beginning, as the psalmist reiterates, so no one should claim to know God’s mind or speak on God’s behalf. Even Jesus, the divine Son of God, yields to his heavenly Father. Hebrews tells us that Jesus made appeals to God as the ultimate high priest and thereby became the source of salvation for those who obey him. In the Gospel reading, Jesus specifies that his approaching act of submission and service will allow him to become a ransom for us.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Job 38:1-7, 34-41. How do you continue to see the goodness of God when you find yourself in situations of intense suffering?
• Read Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c. Where do you catch glimpses of God? How significant is God’s natural world in your ability to see the holy?
• Read Hebrews 5:1-10. In what ways does the understanding of Jesus’ willing vulnerability while serving as high priest affect your interactions with others?
• Read Mark 10:35-45. When have you made a bold request of God? What was God’s reply?

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