Worship at Home for Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dear Friends,

I apologize that there was no sermon and prayer in last week’s mailing. Sadly, our copier broke down on Wednesday. Happily, the copier has been fixed.

The sermon last week and the sermons for the next three weeks will be from the book of Job. Job was a man who knew a great deal of suffering in his life. The book examines how this man of integrity handled his suffering in the presence of God and his friends. We have all suffered and known pain in our lives. Job offers us a view of living in our pain.

If you need anything, please call me at the church office (437-2779) or my cellphone (573-832-2475). Please note that the church website is moving to a new server and is not fully working.

 

Announcements:

  • The CROP Walk is this Sunday, October 10 at 2pm in Buschmann Park.
    There will be a pet blessing before the walk!
  • Chicken and Dumplings at the Senior Center on Sunday beginning at 10:30.
  • The Church Council will meet on Monday at 6:30pm
  • Bell Choir Practice on Wednesday at 4:15pm and
    Choir Practice on Wednesday at 6:30
  • Pick a copy of These Days or have us mail one to you.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

 

 

Scripture Lessons: Job 23:1-9, 16-17, Psalm 22:1-15, Hebrews 4:12-16, Mark 10:17-31

 

Sermon: Job Looks for God

Years ago. I had a strange experience with a group of women friends. They asked me to join them for lunch with them to show support for a friend whose son had been arrested for drugs. Wanting to be supportive, I said that I would be there. Then they tried to set a time. I explained that I had a radiation treatment for breast cancer scheduled every day for 1:30. One member of the group found that time inconvenient for her. So, the group insisted that I cancel or reschedule my treatment which I could not do. Eventually, they chose a time that would allow me to be there but were not happy about it.

Then the morning of the lunch, I received a call from my oncologist’s nurse, saying that the doctor was not happy with how my treatment was going and would like for me to come in early. I arranged for a time that would still allow me to meet the women for lunch. I arrived at the restaurant a bit before everyone else and took a seat and waited. I was extremely exhausted, and the wait staff asked, if I was okay. Later the rest of the group arrived, and we sat to eat lunch.

I offered my support to the friend in pain concerning her son and apologized that I would need to leave early than expected because the doctor wanted to see me. The woman who was displeased that I would not cancel my radiation appointment continually scolded me while I was eating lunch. No one offered a word of support to me; they were too caught up in their own issues.

Have you ever been in a situation when you felt that your friends were not hearing your pain? That you were being scolded for being sick and in trouble? Questioned for seeking the help and care that you needed? Have you ever felt that you could not find the presence of God? Then you can relate to how Job is feeling.

In the chapters leading up to this Sunday’s lectionary passage from Job, Job has been dealing with his three friends. At the end of chapter 2, Job’s friends having heard of his troubles and showed up. They sat on the ground mourn with Job for seven days and seven nights. “No one said a word, because they way how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:13)

Then they start to speak. Chapters 3-22 are conversations between Job and his three friends. To be honest these conversations are written in far more poetic language than I have ever engaged in talking with anyone and makes for some very weighty reading. Job’s friends keep arguing with him and at points scolding Job concerning his pain.

Having been scolded by a friend for seeking help when I was in the pain, I have some real sympathy for Job. Job’s friends are so caught up in their views of how God works and in their own concerns that they fail to hear Job’s complaint.

In Chapter 23, we drop into Job’s debate with his three friends. Job expresses his lament that even God is not listening to his pain. Job desires his day in court so that he can prove his integrity to God and the world and be acquitted from the judgements of wrongdoing which have been coming from his friends. In this passage we hear the lament of a righteous person who is suffering and wrongly accused of being the source of all that his wrong in his life.

We have all been in times and places when life has been difficult. We have all desired to cry out with lament. We have all felt unheard, but we do have Jesus to provide us with hope and grace. Hebrews 4:12-16 speaks of Jesus who hears and completely understands our lament and cries of pain. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathy and weaknesses…” Hebrews 4:15. Jesus understands our sorrow, our pain, our feelings of desertion. When we have our day in the divine court, Jesus is there “so that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Sometimes in our pain we find moments of grace. As I was leaving the luncheon, our waitress came up to me and gave me a hug. She said that she and the other staff at the restaurant had all noticed just how sick and in pain I was. She expressed amazement that none of my friends were coming with me to the hospital. I made an excuse for them. She then offered words of comfort and support. I do not remember her name, but I have always been grateful for this young woman’s caring gesture.

 

Prayer

God of grace, we offer up our prayers to you this day. Many times, our prayers are those of lament, fear, and pain. We search for understanding and sympathy and do not find it. Help us to feel the grace of our savior Jesus who knows the pain of suffering, betrayal, and desertion. Give us the strength to endure. May we find moments of grace even in our worst moments. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Prayer list:

Ahna, Grandpa David, Virginia, Vic, Liz’s sister in law, Butch, Linda, Pat, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Jeff, Bev, Mark, Dave, Peggy E., Shawn, Lindsey, Sue, Diann, Danna, Janet, Lisa, Cheyenne, Katelyn, Michelle, Mary, Tricia, Don, Bob, Paul, Corey, Uncle A. J., Grace, Dan, Marcie and Peggy concerning their guide dogs, Andrea, Jerry G., all who grieve, all who struggle with mental health issues and their families, Paul, Wendell and Betty, Kelly and Dale, Gavin, Bertha, Shirley, Mary, Rochelle, Jerry and all who have Covid, Haiti, Afghanistan, Jim, Sue, Bev, Elizabeth, Beverly and Cheryl.

The family of Gladys Garver who passed on September 30.
Her celebration of life was on Sunday, October 3.

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