We are in the middle of the Book of Job now.

Job 14:7-15 and Job 19:23-27

Here is the overview post on this summer series by Revgals Mary Austin and Liz Crumlish. There are also great resources at Working Preacher.

Job’s lament is turning toward hope. And after the week we’ve had in the US, I could use some hope.

Here is Robert Alter’s translation of 14:7-9:

For a tree has hope: though cut down, it can still be removed, and its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the ground and its stock die in the dust, from the scent of water it flowers, and puts forth branches like a sapling.

I don’t often think of trees when I think of hope. And I confess when I am pulling up elm shoots that have decided to grown in my lawn and flowerbeds, “hope” is not the word that comes to mind.

The Job poet weaves our connectedness to nature throughout the entire book, though, reminding us of yet another point of contact with nature, reminding us that humanity and nature are both vulnerable pieces of creation.

In chapter 19, Job speaks the words I know better from Handel’s Messiah. “I know that my Redeemer lives.” The Hebrew word for ‘redeemer’ is different than the New Testament word, no matter how much Handel makes us think of it. It is more like Boaz and Ruth. Here’s an article about the word at Working Preacher.

Job is still in the midst of his argument. Where are you thinking of preaching this week?

Please share your ideas, resources, children’s time ideas, and videos here.

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Marci Glass

Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary.

Marci blogs at Glass Overflowing and is among the contributors to the RevGals book,There’s a Woman in the Pulpit (SkyLight Paths).


4 thoughts on “Narrative Lectionary: Hope for a Tree Edition

  1. we preached Job in June- lament is always, always a faithful response. Arguing with God is always a faithful response. Next week will be God’s answer to Job’s friends: “you have not done right, as has my servant Job”….maybe hope is a faithful, right response, even if the only reason for our hope is the mere scent of water…and indication of abundant life. So my question to the congregation (especially in light of these past weeks’ events)- where is your hope? where is you glimmer of water, of life, of vitality?
    Job also says “yet in my flesh shall I see God”- God is always about our physical being- how can we help people experience God in their own personal, physical lives? (here’s a hint- the personal IS political) and how is the justice and righteousness of God related to that?

    Liked by 1 person

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