21 October 2018 - Ordinary 29

Vicar’s Reflection: 21st October 2018, Ordinary Sunday 29

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” A challenging question God puts to Job, in the Book of Job, which explores the mystery of existence, especially blameless suffering. Job is a good man, but in the book God ‘permits’ him to be tested by the Satan will all kinds of calamities. In the book all sorts of questions arise because of his sufferings. Is there some secret sin? Job should just admit to it and pleaded for mercy! Is God unaware of Job’s plight? If He is aware why does God not act to put things right? Perhaps God is just a mean curmudgeon and Job should curse him and die (Job’s wife suggests this in Ch.2). From Chapter 38 the voice of God challenges Job and his comforters for their questioning attitude, with a description of God’s ultimate universal sovereignty. The only real answer proposed by this book is that God directs a plan for our ultimate good that includes the reality of suffering – get used to it. Wonderful passages in Job describe the beauty and order of the world, the power and splendour of the heavens, the work of God’s hand. The smallness of human existence and the plight of our suffering is placed into this bigger context. The writer of Hebrews declares that in Jesus, as priest of the order of Melchizedek these two domains are brought together in peace; and in Mark, Jesus reveals that the splendour of God is found in humble service.

Alex Czerwonka

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