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Monday, November 09, 2009

Church news, 10/28: "Job -- Knowing God with heart and soul"

In the fourth and final message in our series on Job, we see how God leads Job to a faith that is secure and personal. Through God's answer to Job we learn that Job always obeyed God and, throughout his time of testing, he did not sin against God.
It can rightly be said that Job loved God with his heart and respected God with his intellect throughout his life. But until he came face to face with God he lacked the ultimate level of spiritual understanding. "Job comes to a place of humility. He recognizes that he shouldn't have spoken at all because he lacked understanding, but now he recognizes and understands the majesty and glory of God. Now he believes in God not just by hearing but also by seeing and knowing God personally." Fr. David explained.

"Most of us are in this place of personal faith in our good times, as Job was. But how awesome to be there also in our bad times -- to have total confidence even then in the trustworthiness of Almighty God."

We know that much is required of those who receive much. As a man rich in the world's wealth, Job had long been a good steward. But now Job has had a personal audience with the Almighty, and something new will be required of him: God asks Job to serve as priest and intercessor for his three friends.

"Job was chosen because priests are called to represent God correctly," said Fr. David. "Job had met God vertically and now had to represent him horizontally, in love to his neighbors. And as soon as he does this -- intercedes for his friends forgiveness and prays for them -- God accepts Job's intercession and then restores all that Job had before: twice the material wealth, the comfort of all his family and friends, and 10 children. God does relates to Job in the deepest of ways: in community!" Job, drawing closer to God, helps his friends to be reconciled with God and with him, brings forgiveness to his wife, is restored with even greater respectability and leadership in the greater community, and is able to truly enjoy all that he has because he understands in the deepest and most profound of ways the source and meaningfulness of all blessing.

Likewise, in a way, Job serves as a priest to us, as we study and take in his extraordinary encounter with God in the depths of personal faith. Thanks be to God for Job's wonderful witness!

NOTE: If you've not yet had time to complete the parish survey and stewardship response sheet, please take a moment to do so before Nov. 1, All Saints' Day. Thank you!

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