Job 23: Summary- If only I could find God and yell at him, then surely things would change….but where or where is God?
Job cries out,
He cries out that the world is wrong
He cries out that God is righteous, so why is his world wrong?
“Let me Explain” Job says, “Just talk to me” Job is convinced he has done something wrong, so why do bad things happen.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good people suffer, if Job “righteous” and God’s exemplar servant (literally) is not able to avoid wrong. Who can?
This story is pre-Jesus, there is no savior taking on the troubles and heartaches in a way that we can see (not yet anyway)…so this story is about the reality that human life is hard and that bad things happen to everyone the good and the bad (the rain shall fall on the righteous and unrighteous alike).
It is a comfort, though,
It is a comfort to know that if Job can suffer, then we do not need to be ASHAMED of our suffering…those who suffer from mental illness, addiction or long term debilitating illness, those things are not shameful
Yelling at God when things go wrong…that’s ok too. After all, God can take that anger and turn it into praise (only God can turn anger into praise in Psalm after Psalm after Psalm)
Because God is Grace, God is the stooping God, the kneeling parent, the carrier in the sand. We are NEVER going to be perfect enough for God. But God will always be perfect enough to help us to get to him.
This why we have communion…to connect us to God even when we feel unconnected.
The earliest written communions have
sursum corda (“Lift Up Your Hearts”) which is still included today
Lift up Your Hearts
We Lift Our Hearts to the Lord
Let us Give Thanks to the Lord Our God
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Lift our hearts…we are lifting our hearts…and we are also praying that God lifts our hearts with us, because we can’t lift them up high enough. God stoops. God helps us
When we celebrate communion we speak to God’s Godhood, how God was the beginning and the end, how God was, is and will be present with us.
Then we pray, we pray for the Holy Spirit to come to the elements, we ask for God to fulfill that promise of presence here and now. Giving a prayer of Great Thanksgiving just as Christ did before he broke the bread and passed the cup, and praying the prayer that Jesus himself taught with the Lord’s Prayer
….lifting our hearts to meet his…God meets us…in the bread and in the wine, Christ is present, promising particular and real presence in the elements.
“This IS my body broken for you…do this in remembrance of me” To remember who Christ is NOW, not just the past
“This is the cup of the new covenant sealed in my blood…whenever (whereever, however) you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim my death until I come again” in the future…this is a seal of my promise to you and your promise to me…proclaiming the death, til the end of time….
and we share in those elements, and we become the Body of Christ…so that Christ is no longer simply with us. This broken ragged people, in different situations with imperfect bodies and hearts that are often in pieces….God lifts our hearts, moves us to celebrate his love, so that we too end up in giving thanks and praise….
We are the Body of Christ.