Jobbbb: Back Up

Sunday’s Scripture ~ Job 38:1-7, 34-41

This Sunday Tuskawilla UMC and Montverde UMC will be participating in a “pulpit swap.” I will journey out to Montverde to share and worship and my beloved, Andrew, will walk around the corner to share and worship at Tuskawilla.

(Okay, he may not walk…but he will not have the usual trek out to South Lake County!)

I am so excited for Andrew to lead you in worship this Sunday! And I am thankful that TUMC’s services are recorded because I am definitely looking forward to experiencing his sermon once it is posted. Y’all welcome him warmly…and be sure to check out his shoes! That way he will feel right at home.

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Andrew continues our Jobbbb series with Back Up. When we last left Job in Job 23 he was seeking an audience with God to plead his case, but God was absent and silence abounded. In our text for this week God speaks…and it is as if the floodgates have been opened. Job wanted to interrogate God and now the tables have turned. Following his cursing Job wants to ask God – wants to know from God – why? In Job 38 through Job 41 God wants to ask Job – wants to know from Job – not why but who?

I confess that I am resisting the urge to begin watching all of my Christmas movies – don’t you just love Christmas movies?! A favorite of mine is The Holiday and in one scene a heartbroken Iris (played by Kate Winslet) is crying over her gas stove because the guy she has been in love with for.ev.er just announced his engagement to another girl on the same newspaper staff. *Disclaimer: do not try this at home* Having just turned on one of the stove’s pilots to heat her teapot she begins to inhale the gas seeping into her house, until the DING of a computer alert startles her out of that reckless behavior. *Disclaimer again: do not try this at home!* Throwing open a window and breathing in the cool Coventry English air, Iris smacks her own cheek and admonishes herself saying, “Perspective!”

In God’s speeches from the whirlwind, it is as if God says to Job, “Snap out of it! Be alert! Back up and gain some perspective!” God questions Job about the inner workings of the creation, how the stars were hung in the sky, how the seas collected, how animals hunt and care for their young, and most fascinating, about the mighty Behemoth and Leviathan, ancient mega-beasts that resembled a hippopotamus and sea monster, respectively. Through this interrogation God asks Job, “Who are you? And who am I?”

When I was in high school the band Downhere played a concert at my home church. I find their music to be genuine and profound. In their song “Great Are You” they sing, “Because I’ll never hold the picture of the whole horizon in my view, because I’ll never rip the night in two, it makes me wonder…Who am I? Who am I? Who am I? And great are you.” Like Job, we cannot say where we were when the heavens were speckled with stars or the instinct to care for young was knit into each animal’s heart. We will “never rip the night in two.” So perhaps then our role is not to question God. Perhaps our role – our primary role – is to know who we are.

I invite you to spend some time reflecting on that question this week – “Who am I?” Each of us will have unique and individual characteristics and all of us will share this characteristic in common. I am/We are created in God’s image. And I am/We are created to stand in awe of God, to stand in gratitude of God, and to stand in worship of God. There are so many things that we will never do because we are not God. We are not meant to be God. So why not take this invitation to focus on what we can do…on who we are. We can be and are awed by God. We can be and are grateful to God. We can and will worship God.

That, my friends, is our perspective.

Prayer: “To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he has done. With his blood he has saved me; with his power he has raised me; to God be the glory for the things he has done.”* Amen.

*”My Tribute,” The United Methodist Hymnal 99.

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