This Sunday’s Sermon

“Can You See ME Now”

Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

At this point in the scripture Job is facing the end of his very difficult journey. He had been through many dangers toils and snares. He’d faced death of his loved ones, the destruction of his property, illness and a parade of bad advice from well meaning friends. But now he was at the end of that journey and things were about to get better for him.

And in that time he began to reflect on his experiences. And as he did that he said something that I though was very interesting. He said, until now I had only heard of God, and now I am able to see God.

I think that is a powerful statement. In the midst of struggles we can easily lose sight of God. We have no idea where God is in all of it. We experience loss and destruction. Then we turn on the TV and se see loss and destruction. Three major earthquakes, have hit our world in a very short amount of time in Haiti, Japan and now Chile.

And for the most part we don’t know what to do. We give money, we pray but we cannot effect change in the way we’d like. We can’t undo the damage. We cannot bring back those who’ve died. We can’t even afford to go down and help with recovery. So we look to God in prayer. We ask God why. We ask other people why God would allow this much suffering in the world. We start wading in the deep deep waters of Theocracy, if God is good ALL the time, why is there so much pain in the world.

And the sad thing about it is there will be so many people who will jump up and claim that they know, who like Pat Robertson and the cab driver in NY (who found out I was a preacher), will claim that they know where the problem lies. They know who to blame. It’s the blame of the Haitian Revolution. According to the cab driver, it’s the blame of all churches who are leading God’s people astray. And Job faced these sorts of people. If you read Job, you’ll see that there whole chapters devoted to his friends who seek him out in his misery simply to give him advice about God and tell him that his suffering is due to his lack of faith, his lack of knowledge of God and so on and so forth. And in the end, expresses God’s anger towards the friends and it is Job that must offer them a prayer for their salvation.

We spoke last week about the ways in which people attempt to define us as individuals unaware of God’s purpose for our lives. In the same way people try to define God unaware that only God defines God. There are some things that we as humans cannot understand and may never understand about God and the way God moves through the earth. Therefore we must constantly seek God’s face and in prayer ask God what is it that I should be getting from this situation. What is it that you are speaking to humanity through these events? We should never assume and we should never take anyone else’s statements about God as Gospel without seeking out the answers for ourselves.

God knows that we have a tendency to just God with the herd and not check in to see if God is leading the herd. I think that as uncomfortable as the story of Job’s destruction can be to read, there is something that God wants humanity to grasp through the reading of the story in it’s entirety. We can learn something from the wisdom Job is able to receive at the end. As we delve further into the season of lent, and closer to the celebration of the resurrection, we have to hold Job’s reflection in our mind. Let’s work together to not leave our faith up to others. Let seek God’s face, and ask God the tough questions, and practice our faith in a way that, we can begin to not simply hear OF God but we can began to see God and know God. I hear God saying “Can you see me now?” Amen….

At this point in the scripture Job is facing the end of his very difficult journey. He had been “through many dangers toils and snares”. He’s faced death of his loved ones, the destruction of his property, illness and a parade of bad advice from well meaning friends. But now he was at the end of that journey and things were about to get better for him.

And as he did that he said something that I though was very interesting. He said, until now I had only heard of God, and now I am able to see God.

In the midst of struggles we can easily lose sight of God. We experience loss and destruction. Then we turn on the TV and see loss and destruction. Three major earthquakes, have hit our world in a very short amount of time in Haiti, Japan and now Chile.

And for the most part we don’t know what to do. We give money, we pray but we cannot effect change in the way we’d like. We can’t undo the damage. We cannot bring back those who’ve died. We can’t even afford to go down and help with recovery. So we look to God in prayer. We ask God why. We ask other people why God would allow this much suffering in the world. We start wading in the deep deep waters of Theocracy, if God is good ALL the time, why is there so much pain in the world.

And the sad thing about it is there will be so many people who will jump up and claim that they know, who like Pat Robertson and the cab driver in NY (who found out I was a preacher), will claim that they know where the problem lies. They know who to blame. It’s the blame of the Haitian Revolution. According to the cab driver, it’s the blame of all churches who are leading God’s people astray. And Job faced these sorts of people. If you read Job, you’ll see that there whole chapters devoted to his friends who seek him out in his misery simply to give him advice about God and tell him that his suffering is due to his lack of faith, his lack of knowledge of God and so on and so forth. And in the end, expresses God’s anger towards the friends and it is Job that must offer them a prayer for their salvation.

We’ve spoken about the ways in which people attempt to define us as individuals unaware of God’s purpose for our lives. In the same way people try to define God unaware that only God defines God. There are some things that we as humans cannot understand and may never understand about God and the way God moves through the earth. Therefore we must constantly seek God’s face and in prayer ask God what is it that I should be getting from this situation. What is it that you are speaking to humanity through these events? We should never assume and we should never take anyone else’s statements about God as Gospel without seeking out the answers for ourselves.

God knows that we have a tendency to just go with the herd and not check in to see if God is leading the herd. I think that as uncomfortable as the story of Job’s destruction can be to read, there is something that God wants humanity to grasp through the reading of the story in it’s entirety. We can learn something from the wisdom Job is able to receive at the end. As we delve further into the season of lent, and closer to the celebration of the resurrection, we have to hold Job’s reflection in our mind. Let’s work together to not leave our faith up to others. Let seek God’s face, and ask God the tough questions, and practice our faith in a way that, we can begin to not simply hear OF God but we can began to see God and know God. I hear God saying “Can you see me now?” Amen….