Rev. Mark Johnson
May 9, 2021

Secondary Source: Soul Reset Junius B. Dotson Upper Room Books Nashville 2019

Main Point: “A gift we can give ourselves is the ability to be ourselves in the midst of grief. To not pretend that we have it all together. To not put a timetable on our grief, but to know that God heals in God’s time, and that’s okay. To know that as you are moving through the grief process, there are people who know you and support you every step of the way.” Soul Reset Sermon Starters Week 5

Trouble in the Text

  • After being stripped of all health and comforts, Job is angry and questions the wisdom, love, and power of God.
  • At first his friends do what they are supposed to do – sit with Job in his grief and walk alongside him. Eventually, they feel the need to fill the awkward silence with less than helpful advice.
  • To Job, God’s response was sometimes equally troubling and unsatisfying. Where do we find hope and grace when life has thrown everything at us?

Trouble in Life

  • We all experience the random and chaotic nature of life. Sometimes this leads to experiences of grief and unexpected loss.
  • In the midst of these moments, it’s often hard to hear from or experience the grace of God. We share Job’s doubt, anger, or even disgust.
  • Why does God let bad things happen to good people? We all carry this question and is the main theological theme of the book of Job.

Grace in the Text

  • Behemoth and Leviathan are mythical creatures which symbolize chaos, death and destruction. God refuses to destroy them just to make Job’s life easier causing him to reconsider the nature of the cosmos. What does it mean that Behemoth and Leviathan have a place in our world?
  • God is Creator – Sustainer – Struggler. Although God won’t rid the world of Behemoth and Leviathan, God is engaged with the same struggle against chaos, death, and destruction.

Grace in Life

  • We learn from Job that lament and anger are valid forms of worship. God is present and shares those moments with us. God can handle our grief and anger.
  • Moreover, God struggles and fights with us in those moments. Grieving alongside us, God has the ability to wring goodness out of bad situations like water from a sponge.

Reflective Work

Worship is an essential part of our spiritual lives. In times of grief and loss, however, we might need to reconsider the very nature of worship. What are the ways you worship God when you don’t feel like worshiping God? Or how can we rethink worship in our daily lives so it is more in tune with our actual practice?

Call to Action plus response

  • Tend to yourself. Do something you like to do. Engage in your favorite hobby, read a book, or take a walk.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NRSV: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” … For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
  • Worship God by attending to the temple that is your personal mind, body, and spirit. At the same time, know that God is with you in the bad, random, and chaotic – engaged in the same struggle and bringing about life and resurrection amidst apparent death and destruction.

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