October 19, 2009

Looking Ahead to October 25, 2009 -- 21st Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Hebrew Scriptures: Job 42:1-6, 10-17
  • Psalm 34 (VU p.761)
  • From the Gospel: Mark 10:46-52

The Hymns this week are:
  • #371 Open My Eyes That I May See
  • #299 Teach Me, God, to Wonder
  • #242 Let All Things Now Living
  • #427 To Show by Touch and Word

The Sermon title is Giveth, Taketh, Giveth Again

Early Thoughts: What do we make of the story of Job? What does it have to tell us about possessions?

Job is, to say the least, a troubling book. It is a difficult story to follow--at least in part because it seems to be two stories glued together. There is a little folk tale that bookends the larger story made up of a series of speeches about why Job is in the state he finds himself. The larger story has a lot to do with issues of punishment and why bad things happen to people. The bookends appear to try and give context and explanation to the middle (and possibly let God off the hook for the bad things that happen to Job).

This week we are going to focus on the bookends. TO put it simply, Job has a lot. God allows ha-Satan (the Accuser/Adversary) take it away to test Job's faith. Job gets it all back and more. In the theology that is presented: God has given, God allows to be taken, God gives again.

THere are two things I find instructive about this in terms of our possessions. The first is to see all we have as a gift from GOd. The second is to wonder if we can remain faithful when it all gets taken away. There is a danger as well--the story can be taken in terms of the so-called "prosperity gospel"--the belief that if we are really "good" then God will bless us with lots of stuff.

So how does that all shake out as am message of hope and good news? Come on Sunday and find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment