A tradition in Christian worship that goes back to the 400s AD includes a service to celebrate the dates believers of the previous year died, which they called their "birthdays" into eternity. Their names were read at services or sometimes at cemeteries or catacombs. Since then, it's been called Saints Triumphant or commemoration of the departed saints. Whatever you call it, it's a way to allow departed saints, by the grace of God in their lives, to continue to encourage us. Gather with your brothers and sisters to worship the Lord for the rich variety of the young and old, learned and ignorant, people of action and contemplatives, whose common denominator is simply that the grace of God worked mightily in them.
Who doesn't want to encounter God? Ah, yes, with head bowed while soft light streams through stained glass. Ah, yes, like a picture-perfect Facebook or Instagram post, with a cup of coffee steaming next to an open Bible . . . bonus points for a journal next to it. Sure, those are ways to experience God. But Abraham, Moses, Ruth, David, Job, and a host of other Bible heroes would have gladly traded their experiences of meeting God with such idyllic scenes. They met God in suffering. And so might you. Welcome to the end of our series on the Poetical Books of the Bible. Today we'll ask the Spirit to bless us through the conclusion of the book of Job. It’s not just the end of Job’s suffering. May we see in it, the end of our suffering, and maybe some purpose to it.
All rights reserved. Music used by permission under CCLI #1600166, OneLicense #A-709447, and Worshipflow.com. Pre-service music all rights reserved by Koine (koinemusic.com) & Michael Schroeder.
They say God gave you two ears and one mouth so would listen twice as much as you speak. This proverb is not in the Bible, but it makes sense, as long as we’re listening to the right sources. Today, we’ll hear some of God’s words of wisdom from Job 38. Wisdom from above can be unexpected and counterintuitive.
God invites us to call him Father. He calls us his children. That makes Jesus our brother and makes us the family of God. In addition, the Bible tells us he places us in families. That's a lot of family. Yet no word likely conjures up more good or bad feelings than the word family. Today, we head back into the book of Proverbs and ask the Spirit to give us God's wisdom for families. Whatever our family situations, this is wisdom for all of us.