Year B Pentecost 19 – Job 1:1, 2:1-10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16
Long ago, God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways (Heb 1:1). One of those ancients was named Job. Job’s story contains philosophical and theological questions still being debated. Considering Job is the oldest book in the Bible, the questions are more about seeking out God in relationship than receiving answers to struggles.
- Why do the righteous suffer?
- If there is a God of love, how could a loving God allow suffering?
- Why does evil exist?
- Does God punish us when we do bad things?
We sometimes go through struggles that involve complications in our relationships. Whether it be a marriage gone bad or a victim of some crime, we struggle to hold our head high among friends, family, and foes alike. Like Job, the Psalmist cried for his day in court. David was confident in God’s justice. He pleaded for vindication and held fast to his integrity.
The author of Hebrews reveals the source of confidence in God’s court. It is not because we are worthy. It is not because of our good deeds. It is not because of anything we have done. It is all about Jesus, the pioneer of their salvation. Christ’s salvation is possible because of his suffering.
When we suffer, we have a mediator who understands our hearts anguish. We long for his praise for all others to hear. Not a praise of our deeds; a praise of our relationship. We want all to know we have a personal relationship with the Creator.
Mark’s Gospel reminds us there will always be the temptation to justify our sinful deeds. Hardened hearts reject God’s commandments. Childlike hearts open the door to God’s kingdom. Perhaps today you are struggling with a relationship, a circumstance, or issue that is causing you to suffer. Your personal anguish is not new. It is something acknowledged by God and humanity since long ago. You are not alone. God is with you. Thanks be to God.