Davids sermon 21 October 2018

Two readings today – from Job and Mark – and two answers:

From Job –  God answers from the whirlwind:

Who are you to question me! 

Job has been railing against God right through the book – Why have you done this – Why are you punishing me, why is this happening?

Job is sure this is not his fault, he has not done anything wrong – why God did you allow this to happen?  He has lost everything – his wealth, his family, his health, his friends: – Why God?

And God answers from the whirlwind – “Who are you to question me?  Who are you who speaks without knowledge,”

Look at all I have done and can do – 

Did you create the earth did you measure the foundations, did you set the stars or put the sea in its place? – on and on He goes listing all He has done which Job could not do. – the whole chapter lists God’s control of creation.

And Job is humbled, he changes from anger and arrogance to humility and acceptance that above all – God is Good.

Above all:  God is sovereign – we cannot understand his working by our rational thinking alone

  God’s will towards us is good – He cares and communicates that care to us – that is a sound foundation for our faith.

When things wrong, we can either harangue God and make us His adversary – or we can ask Him to be our helper, our advocate, bow in humility, and wait for Him to reveal himself and His plans for us.

And in Mark,  – God, Jesus – answers out of humility – out of servant hood.

“What do you want me to do for you?”

The two disciples ask Jesus to give them places of authority over others – and the answer is:

Do you know what you are asking, can you take on that position of hurting of subservience, of punishment and death that I will go through?

  • So be it you shall – but listen to this – come round all you and listen – :
  • Rulers Lord it over others and exert authority over people – 
  • But not so for you!
  • That is not may way
  • That is not our way

If you want to be great in my way – you must serve

If you want to be first, you have to put yourself last

Jesus response to James and John is a question – “What do you want me to do for you?” – the question of a servant.   Later on in the chapter He asks the same question of  a blind man – 

“What do you want me to do for you?”

And as we start this period of uncertainty before us, as we come to terms with what we all have to do during this vacancy, let’s hold on to these two answers:

God to Job:  “ Who are you to question my ways?” but be assured, God is Good.

Jesus to James and John: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Jesus comes to us as a servant and offers us Himself.

Can we also take that mantle of servant hood and ask others:  “What do you want me to do for you?”

But also, can we in our prayers to Jesus – can we ask him from our hearts, from our uncertainties, from our anxieties – think about this – Jesus invites our requests:
“Jesus – this is what I will ask you do for me?   To do for our church, and to do for our community”

May this time be a time of blessing for us all.   Amen  

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