Job’s story ends happily. God restores his fortunes twofold, and he is blessed with ten more children: seven sons and three daughters. Job is transformed, a transformation far deeper than the reversal of his woes, more profound than the end of his suffering. He sees the beauty and preciousness of life as he never has and is forever changed.
At the beginning of his ordeal he could say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). At the end, he understands what that really means. He sees the grace and extravagance of God’s gifts and responds in kind. He gives his daughters names that reflect beauty and pleasure in life. There is Jemimah, whose name means “dove” or “warmth”; Keziah, named for a sweet-scented spice; and Keren-Happuch, which translates as “pot of eye shadow.” These lovely and unexpected names convey joy and delight, a father’s response to the unexpected gift of their lives. And then he gives each of his daughters an inheritance, also an unexpected gift; traditionally only the (unnamed) sons would have inherited their father’s estate.
Not every story has a happy ending. Sometimes suffering continues unabated and without reason. Bad things do happen to good people. Life is not fair. Pain and loss can give way to doubt and anger: doubt about God’s goodness, anger at God’s seeming absence. We want God to answer to us, to explain, to fix things. We question God. Then, like Job, maybe we come to see that God is beyond our questioning, beyond our understanding. But God is not beyond our experiencing. God is present in all creation, present in our lives—present in our suffering.

All-seeing, all-giving, all-knowing God, may I respond with gratitude and grace to your generosity. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 10:46-52

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Lectionary Week
October 22–28, 2018
Scripture Overview

Sometimes we can look back and see why challenging things happened to us, but this is not always the case. Job never fully understood his story but finally submitted his life to God in humility. In Job’s case, God restored with abundance. The psalmist also rejoices that although the righteous may suffer, God brings ultimate restoration. The reading from Hebrews continues celebrating Christ’s role as the compassionate high priest. Unlike human high priests, who serve only for a time, Christ remains our priest forever. A man without sight in Jericho knows of Jesus compassion and cries out for it, despite attempts to silence him. He asks Jesus for mercy, physical healing in his case, and Jesus granted his request because the man has displayed great faith.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Job 42:1-6, 10-17. What are your happy and unhappy endings? How do you acknowledge both?
• Read Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22. When has an obstruction or impediment influenced your relationship with God?
• Read Hebrews 7:23-28. What distinction do you draw between sacrifice and offering? Which do you prefer?
• Read Mark 10:46-52. When have you been unable to see the blessing right in front of your eyes?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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