Job was a faithful man. A man of integrity, he was loyal to the God of love, justice, and mercy. His life was blessed. Job’s faithfulness was blessed with a life without strife and challenge.
Or so he thought.
It all fell apart in one afternoon. The institutions, the norms, the wealth, and the people Job counted on were ripped from him.
He grieved deeply but remained faithful.
But the hardship didn’t stop.
Not for Job and not for us.
Our politics becomes more and more polarized by the day. The pandemic prevents us from being physically present with one another in the normal struggles and challenges of living. And the killing of black and brown peoples rises in our awareness.
Like it was for Job, it is easy for us to fall into discouragement.
In our discouragement and struggles, the miserable comforters offer us free advice and judgment. “It’s all God’s will,” they say. “You just need to keep a stiff upper lip,” they advise. Implying God wants us to suffer, they say, “God’s ways are mysterious” and shut down our lament.
It makes us want to slam the door closed and shout, “Leave Me Alone!”
Job cried out in anguish and anger to God:
Perish the day I was born…because it didn’t close the doors of my mother’s womb, didn’t hide trouble from my eyes. But I won’t keep quiet; I will speak in the adversity of my spirit, groan in the bitterness of my life…for my days are empty. Leave me alone! (Job (3:3, 10; 7:11, 22 CEB)
Come and worship! If you’re just done with it all, shout your angry words to God! If you’re weary, rest in Christ’s arms, and if you’re joyful, dance. Created in God’s image, God feels with you. God loves you and is ready to listen and be present with you.
We come to worship with our whole, authentic selves assured God loves us. Amen.