Fourth after Pentecost, Lectionary reading for June 20, 2021; Job 38:1-11
Call me crazy, but I love the book of Job. Do I really believe that God ruined a man’s life to settle a bet with Satan? No. But we all suffer: Job, Jesus, every one of us. How we react and respond to our suffering and to the suffering of others is up to us, but there is no way to avoid suffering. Job and his friends spend most of the book arguing about why we suffer, but to me, that’s not the important part (other than offering us lessons in how NOT to help a grieving friend).
The book of Job shows us it is perfectly acceptable to cry out to God. We can pour out all our anger, frustration, bitterness, and pain in our prayers and still be loved by God. In the midst of our suffering, we can scream and cry and question, and God is big enough to bear it all and still love us.
My other takeaway from the Book of Job is that we will never fully understand the mystery of God. While modern science has answered some of the questions God asks Job in chapters 38-41, the message remains pertinent: we will never understand the mind of our Creator or the full glories of creation. Assuming we know God’s plans or God’s thoughts is hugely arrogant. We have clues in the Bible and in creation (what the Franciscans call the first bible), but we need to accept and even embrace the mystery in which we live.
This week’s reading from Job is a great opportunity to marvel at creation, and ABCs From Space is a perfect book to gawk over. It isn’t a storybook in the traditional sense, but as you browse its pages, you can’t help but wonder at the beauty, diversity, and mystery of God’s creation. Little kids will enjoy finding the letters and tracing them on each page, and older kids will enjoy reading the explanations in the back pages. This book is a real conversation starter and you’ll enjoy looking through it over and over again.
Questions to ask before you read:
- What is something people used to think about the world that we know is wrong now?
- How did we find out?
Questions to ask after you read:
- Do you think we will ever know everything about the world?
- Why do you think God made some things so hard to figure out?
Well folks, I’ve been kicked out of the Amazon Associates program because of a lack of sales, so I no longer have clickable links on my page. You can find this book on Amazon, but check your local library first, and if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that still has a physical bookstore, go support it!
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Voiland, Adam. ABCs From Space. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.