Thursday, October 14, 2021

Sunday's sermon

Job is the most troubling book in the Bible.

        You all probably know the story—Job is a good and faithful man, a devout follower of God. Yet God hands Job over to Satan and Satan torments and punishes him and takes away all that he has.

          In last week’s reading, Job was covered in blisters and sitting in dust and ashes and even his wife says to him, “Job, curse God and die!”

          But Job will not curse God because that’s what Satan is trying to make him do. In the face of all his suffering and loss, even when he wishes he had never been born or had died in child-birth, Job remains faithful to God.

          Today we hear the end of Job’s story. God restores all his fortunes ten-fold and makes him a very rich man who lives another 140 years and sees 4 generations of his descendants before he dies in peace.

          Job’s suffering is not the issue to me—suffering is a part of human life--it is all around us. Many people, in this, the richest country in history, suffer hunger, fear, violence and illness.

          No, the issue to me is ‘why did God let Satan do this?’

          In fact, in the beginning of Job, it is God that brings him up to Satan—speaking of Job’s virtues. God lets Satan take Job’s earthly goods and cattle and even his children, but Job will not renounce God.

          Satan returns to God and tells Him, Let me touch his bone and flesh and he will curse you.

          So, God says to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power, only spare his life.”

          Not a very ‘God-like’ thing to do.

          Is it all a big Test of Job’s faith? A very cruel and un-holy test, indeed.


          Contrast Job with the blindman in today’s gospel lesson.

          Bartimaeus is a blind beggar who hears Jesus was passing by.

          He calls out to him and says, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

          The people in the crowd try to make him be quiet, but he calls out even louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

          Jesus stops and says, “Call him here.”

          And Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and, blind though he may be, rushes to Jesus.

          Imagine a blind man rushing, bumping into others, tripping on unseen things.

          And when Jesus heals him, he says, “Go. Your Faith has made you well” and his sight returns.

          Maybe that is the meaning of Job’s story too—His Faith in God made him well!

          I just wish God had not let Satan have his way with Job.

          And I pray, that in hard times, our Faith will make us well….


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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.