The Lord answered Job’s friends out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this that gives counsel by words without knowledge? What have you done with your freedom, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
“What do you know of Divine Prerogative that comes forth from love? Tell me, if you have understanding. How do you define “deserving” and “undeserving” —surely you can!
Whose children are worthy and whose should I ignore?
On what basis have you decided who should receive arms and attention,
or who is a good ally or partner
when the plastic-coated oceans sigh together
and all the heavenly beings weep for your stubbornness?
“Or who are you to point fingers, saying that
this deed is worse than that?—
when I see all that truly destroys life,
and plays at having power,
and prescribed bounds for neighbors,
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘If the Holy wanted you to have better, then such would have been provided’?”
Do not let me be Job’s friends. Do not let me be Job’s friends. Do not let me be Job’s friends.
Let me have the strength to bless someone’s latter days.
Let me have the courage to bless someone’s latter days.
Let me have the wisdom to bless someone’s latter days.
*inspired by a sermon by Anna Carter Florence at the close of the Festival of Homiletics, 2018
The Reverend Julia Seymour serves Lutheran Church of Hope in Anchorage, AK. She blogs at lutheranjulia.blogspot.com and readsallthethings.com. She contributed to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit.
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