When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us. When the questions that are posed to us are too big for us to handle, we nee to look towards an alternate source of wisdom than our own. In part this is what the Book of Job and the story of Jesus calming the storm are about. Looking towards God, looking towards other mature Christians to learn and understand a way forward.
Voices of Security
* Note – During the sermon certificates of achievement are handed out to the children. This occurs between approximately 5m 26s and 12m 47s of the audio recording. If you would just like to hear the sermon skip through this section of the sermon.
We all have our favourite Bible passages. Perhaps it is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 or the nativity scene. Maybe we like to quietly reflect on Psalm 23 or read about the early church as found in Paul’s letters.
One of my favourite stories in the Bible is the Book of Job. It is a challenging piece of scripture, dealing with some of life’s most difficult questions. In this story we find heartbreak, frustration, questions and answers. It is a story full of drama.
The excerpt the Suzanne read to us this morning comes near the end of Job. Job, has lost everything and has spent the preceding chapters arguing with his friends about why he has been punished and why he is suffering. As part of this debate Job has asked questions of God. Questions which until this point have gone unanswered.
Our reading this morning introduces us to God’s response to Job. We read the God answered Job out of a whirlwind and that his first words to Job are, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” I love that line. How often have we spoken without thinking? Here God is politely telling Job that he has just put his foot in his mouth. God’s response to Job is awesome in its magnitude, even if God does not directly answer Job’s questions.
What God’s response reminds us of is that we often think of ourselves and our immediate concerns. God, on the other hand, thinks of the whole universe. It is a reminder to think about more than ourselves. We do this through prayer, service and time spent with one another.
The story of Job shows us how Job’s narrow worldview is expanded, in order that Job can see the cosmic vision of God. This is what happens when we learn about God. When we study God’s word found in scripture and when we pray with God. Job’s worldview is expanded because he has the audacity to challenge and question God.
God’s response to Job is to question him. Where were you when? Who do you think created all of this?
However, it is those questions which provide Job the required insight to see God’s vision. To understand that God’s plan for creation is so much larger that we could possibly understand.
One of the first places that many of us have the opportunity to learn about God and to ask questions about God is the Sunday School classroom. The Sunday School classroom is a safe haven for our children. In appreciation for the learning they have done and for the questions they have asked we have something for the children.
I would invite Ruth Kerr our Sunday School teacher to come forward to award our children with certificates.
In both our reading from Job and from Mark we have a storm. For Job it is his life’s events and the voice of God in the Whirlwind. In Mark’s lesson the disciples are panicking during a storm, while Jesus sleeps.
In Job’s story, God answers Job in the form of more questions. Questions that provide understanding. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus quiets the storm.
In the midst of the storms of life we look to God, we look to Jesus. There we find our comfort. We also look to those individuals in our lives who have answered our questions, those who have modeled what a disciple of Christ is like.
May each of us hold tightly to the promises we make during baptism, to challenge and grow one another in faith. To not be afraid to ask questions and always to trust in the grace, love and mercy of God. That though questions may bring more questions, they will also bring answers. Amen.