Worship at Home for Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dear Friends,

This is our final Sunday in the book of Job. The story of Job is good for all of us to read as we have all had pain in our lives. My prayers are with all of you in pain and joy. If you need anything, please call me at the church office (437-2779) or my cellphone (573-832-2475). If you would like to have a copy These Days mailed to you or home communion, let me know.

Announcements:

  • Sunday School after worship today.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm & Choir Practice at 6:30
  • Community Trunk or Treat on First Street on Friday Evening.
    Make sure you stop by the Haunted Theater.
  • Apple Butter for sale for $7 per pint

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

 

Scripture Lessons: Job 42:1-17, Psalm 34:1-8; Hebrews 7:23-38; Mark 10:46-52

 

 

Sermon:  Job Part 4

A long time ago when I was just out of college and on my own in the Peace Corps, I saw a cartoon (I believe it was Ziggy.) where the cartoon character decides to leave his dishes in the sink for the dish fairy to wash. I thought that this cartoon was funny and would joke with my friends that I would just leave the dishes in the sink for the dish fairy to clean up later. This was so we could keep enjoying one another’s company rather than cleaning up the dishes right away. Eventually, I or someone else would joke that they would be the dish fairy and wash the dishes.

We all like to wish for things that we do not like or want to go away, to just disappear. Some people treat God in this fashion. We pray for a particular thing to happen and when it does not, we lose faith in God. This is a Genie in the bottle approach to God.

The God as a genie in a bottle to fix our problems makes as much sense as leaving dirty dishes in the sink and hoping that a mythical the dish fairy will show up overnight and wash the dishes. Sometimes dirty dishes pile up and we need to deal with them. Sometimes our lives are a mess due to circumstances beyond our control, but we still need to deal with them. When the flood comes, we still need to clean out our waterlogged and mud filled homes. When the dreaded diagnosis is heard, we still need to go through procedures to correct the condition. When loved ones die, we need to grieve.

Job has been dealing with serious pain and suffering. His friends have been lecturing Job about how his problems must be his fault. That Job must have done something wrong like leaving the dirty dishes in the sink and much worse. But Job is a careful man who would never let dirty dishes pile up in the sink or do an unrighteous act with out atoning for it. Job had terrible things happen to him, because life just happens that way sometimes. So, Job speaks to God about his pain and suffering.

Eventually God showed up in a storm and answered Job. God loves Job enough to show up and speak to him. God was willing to listen to Job’s cries of pain and anger. The awesome and almighty God lectures Job about all that happens that is beyond human comprehension. Human beings are only a small part of all that God oversees, yet God still has time to notice us and talk to us as God is doing with Job.

In today’s passage from Job, God and Job are finishing up their conversation. Job admits that God is far more complex and amazing than he could have ever believed. Job withdraws his complaint from God and admits to his inferior status with such a superior being.

Then in verses 7-9, God addresses Job’s friends. God is angry with Job’s friends for not speaking of what is right as Job did. Job’s friends never prayed to God with Job or about Job. They just spoke their thoughts in a very long debate. God tells these friends that Job will pray on their behalf and offer up a sacrifice on their behalf using the seven rams and seven bulls which the friends must supply. God appreciates that Job wanted to be in relationship with God even when everything was falling apart in Job’s life.

When we are going through a difficult time, it is good to share our deepest hurts, pains, and concerns with God. If someone we know is going through a difficult time, pray for them. God may not provide an immediate solution to our troubles or the troubles of others, but God is willing to hear our complaints. God is with us in good times and bad.

Last week I used the movie Forest Gump as an example of God answering the prayers of a desperate man. God did not answer Forest’s prayers for shrimp with shrimp, but with a raging storm that caused disaster for many. As the storm raged, Forest’s friend Lieutenant Dan raged against the storm and God. When the sea was calm again, so was Lieutenant Dan. I like to think that God heard Dan’s cries. Sadly, the storm proved tragic for many as their shrimp boats were destroyed by the storm. What was a disaster and painful for others proved to a blessing to Forest and Lieutenant Dan. Since Forest’s boat was the only boat to survive the hurricane, their fortunes grew with Bubba Gump Shrimp.

As the years go by, Job’s fortunes are restored. All who had known Job came to comfort him and eat with him and give him a piece of silver and a gold ring as compensation for hard times. Peace is restored in the life of Job and his wife who go on to have another ten children. Seven sons who are not named and three daughters who are.

In Mark we learn of the healing of a man who was blamed for his condition. Or rather his parents were the cause as Bar-Timaeus means the son of the defiled/unclean. Bartimaeus finds himself begging on the side of the Jericho Road when Jesus comes by with a large crowd. Bartimaeus shouts out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). This beggar, who cannot see, sees more than anyone else and gives Jesus this title of messiahship for the first time in the Gospel of Mark.

Those around him scold him about his loud shouting and tell him to be quiet. But like Job in the face of his friends, this man knows that he is right and keeps shouting. Then Jesus calls to him. So now the people call to the Bartimaeus with the good news that Jesus is calling. So Bartimaeus leaps up in faith leaving behind his most precious possession, his cloak, and comes to Jesus. Jesus knows that this man already sees by faith and says that he is healed by his faith. Bartimaeus immediately follows Jesus on the road or way of faith.

When we have troubles, when others blame us for our troubles and when the storms of life are raging, we need to talk to God. God will not act like a genie in a bottle who will make our troubles go away. God does want to hear us and be with us on the way of faith.

 

Prayer

Holy and great God, hear our prayers today. Hear the prayers of deep pain and sorrow. Hear the prayers of those who want to express their anger. Hear the prayers of those who are afraid. May we all know that you are with us. Amen.

 

Prayer list:

All who have been on our list in the past and Bev, Elizabeth, Beverly and Cheryl, Ty and Kaye’s family, Jean, Jim who is transitioning, Peggy.

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