Happily Ever After #Job #fairytale #harrypotter #hallowsnothorcruxes

Job 42:10-17

10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money* and a gold ring. 12The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. 16After this Job lived for one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. 17And Job died, old and full of days.

So here we are Job (at least one of, if not the) first written fairy tale and it ends happily ever after…so this means that tempted as we are to write this off as a “happily ever after” if this is one of the first AND we make note that there is no such thing

He has more children than before (more boys always important)…is more wealthy and is even able to give his daughters an inheritance….(yay!)

But what makes this a happily ever after is not the kids and the money..its God’s presence...its the knowledge that (remember this is pre-Jesus) bad things can happen to anyone, and it isn’t about judgement.

Happily Ever After is experiencing the love of God!

Its knowing God is present in your life.

Job was GUARENTEED a happily ever after. He has experienced God, and because of that his life will be happy.

No matter what.

Those other details are mere illustrations of the truth of God’s love!

And it makes all the difference…….

That is why after experiencing Jesus Christ, “Happily Ever After” became viable…because we are living into God’s presence…before Jesus Christ there was NO SUCH THING. Now we know death isn’t the end.

We use this theology in fantasy/fairy tales today!

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, p. 328.

  • Engraved on the headstone of James and Lily Potters. Taken from the Bible, (1 Corinthians 15:26)

“It doesn’t mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry,” said Hermione, her voice gentle. “It means… you know… living beyond death. Living after death.” p. 329 which of course is what Jesus Christ made possible……changing the world and the way we experience it as we know it

hallows

Here’s to living happily ever after

Naked as the day you were born: Job 1:13-22

For Job becoming Naked as the day he was born means loss. Loss of status, loss of goods, loss of food and security

Loss of family<–that one really gets me

Loss of respect, Loss of manhood (esp. in that culture), loss of legacy, loss of history.

and Job says “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

i.e. naked as the day he was born. An oft heard expression. Here Job acknowledges that those things that he claimed, his wealth, his house, even his family were not actually secure. For security is actually in God.

We have experienced this in the financial crises, when all the “security” in our money went down the drain. We experienced this at 9/11 when we realized that terrorism can strike anyone at any time. We realize this when a family member experiences disease or struggle, such as cancer (or perhaps even more difficult addiction or mental illness). Why? Because none of these things were really secure to begin with. What is actually secure is God, and Job is able to acknowledge this.

The other oft quote passage from this is “the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away” (KJV sounds so much more authoritative doesn’t it)

Here is where I think Job gets it wrong. Because its not God who is taking all these things away….

Its evil. Whether it be Satan or the challenger, evil is what is taking things from Job, NOT God.job07a job08

What I find interesting about this interchange is that it is easier for people to believe in evil than good. I have met many people who have all kinds of beliefs, who are far more able to believe in Evil and evil forces than in God or good forces.

But (as my son pointed out this morning) the Devil can’t take God from Job<–from the lips of a child.

So, here is the question. Why is it easier to believe in evil than good? Why is it easier to believe that it is God who is angry or vengeful than to believe in a fully good and loving God who makes good things happen even admidst the bad.

After all, As it is so well stated in Dr. Who…the good things don’t negate the bad, but GOOD things can happen in the midst of bad! The Bad things don’t have to ruin the good ones.

So here is the question, why is it easier to believe in evil than good?
And what does that mean? Where does that put us. I can’t believe that there isn’t good and purpose for humanity. Honestly, my mind can’t even get around it. Good is stronger than evil, and I, ultimately, believe in Good. The Good of our Loving God.

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Job Ch 1: “What a Setup” or Biblical Fairy Tale

The beginning of Job is a total setup.

Once Upon a Time there’s Job: upright and blameless was he. Job was one who had plenty of sons and not too many daughters–sons whose hospitality was great (they really knew how to party people into the kingdom), and they hosted their sisters often.

Job’s hospitality was even greater, making sacrifices and worshipping on his children’s behalf, praying for them, asking for forgiveness if ever they wronged God (because Job admits he may not have been the perfect parent)

God and all the heavenly beings gathered together, and God asks Satan (otherwise known as the accuser/challenger) what he had been up to…

“The usual” Satan answers “Wondering around, looking at earth and earthlings?”

“Oh, did you notice my servant Job?” asks God.”Because he’s pretty much everything I could hope for, upright, honest and true (i.e. he fears God and turns away from evil)

“Why” asks Satan, “You know he only likes you because you take such good care of him, he is well blessed, he has every reason to be good. If you ruined him, all that would change”

“hmmm….” God says, “We shall see…tell you what do what you want to Job’s family, friends and possessions, as long as you leave Job alone, you can do what you want….”

Job is sure set up here. First he is set up to have everything, and then its what’s the phrase? “too good to be true” he is almost “too blessed” and as a result he becomes tested. Here God gives Satan, the tester, rights to do whatever he wants to Job (Excepting touching Job himself) to see just how faithful Job can be….

What a setup!

Don’t we pray for God NOT to lead us into temptation, what is with this? This doesn’t seem fair, how is it that evil can happen to Job and what does it all mean?

Here’s the setup, we are in for a good story, one where evil exists, but not without good, one where suffering is not greater than God, one where temptations and tests are less about who God is and more about who we are……

How will this work?

Plus, this happens in the mythical land of Uz, you know
a-long-time-ago

In fact the “Satan” character could be named “challenger” instead of Satan, because its unclear if the character is evil or just throwing challenges up….

So why does this perfect guy get setup in this way?
Because we’ve all experienced this, the question of why do bad thing happen to good people, theodicy, Why does evil exist, we all have experienced this reality in our lives.

And we all talk about God, its a human thing to talk about God and the role of evil in our lives, It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe in this is a topic of conversation. So here we are, in a Biblical fairy tale (yay fairy tales!)

Asking the good questions, starting with
Once Upon a Time….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMzQCaRR_wk

Spiritual & Religious Chart

When people say they are spiritual not religious, they are often indicating that they do not hold the “beliefs” purported/preached/encouraged (or forced) by religion. What they are trying to verbalize is their journey of faith, and the importance of it.

Here there is a little known dichotomy between belief and faith. Church should be a place to nurture faith, but spiritual people often see belief as getting in the way. (note epistus în the New Testament is often translated as belief, but it really means faith. “Belief” is only present in 2 Tim 13:11)

Belief                                                                 Faith

•Telling Our Story (our picture)                   •Telling God’s Story (God is bigger)

Belief                                                                 Faith

•tenants that help us frame the world         • the seed that can grow                              (                                                                                 (Mustard Seed of Faith Luke 17:3-6)

                                                                  Belief                                                                 Faith

•as far as humans can go: stretching to limits       • letting go—> to who God is                                                                                                       (Where were you when earth was formed Job 38)

Belief                                                                 Faith

•individual                                                        •communal                                                                                                                                           (Why church? so that the community can support you with faith even when you can’t)

Belief                                                                 Faith

•something we hang onto                                •what holds onto to us when we are lost                                                                                        (Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32)

Belief                                                                 Faith

• things we say to define ourselves                 •something to come home to                                                                                                             (Heaven is like…Matthew 13: 31-32)

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