Friday, November 22, 2013

seven spiritual quick takes

Plowing through Job in the last remaining days of my bible reading plan. Job crosswayed with Isaiah and John. So Job lost everything yesterday and Jesus was crucified. And today Job was struck from his head to his foot and Jesus rose. And in Isaiah the Phonecians are a mess. Really disturbed, again, how it is God who draws Satan's attention to Job. I can see why Jesus would tell us to ask God not to lead us into temptation. It sure looks like that's what's going on with Satan in Job 1.

 On the other hand, the depth of Job's grief is really wonderful. We are too quick, I think, to jump to 'oh, I'm fine. There's no problem. I'll be fine.' I am so guilty of this with myself and of orienting my children that way. I'm always happy for them to tell me that they're fine immediately when something terrible happens to them, like being struck with a block by another child. Occasionally lying in sackcloth and woe on the ground and admitting that things are not ok would not be a bad idea.

I'm pretty sure that if Job were around today no one would be prepared to deal with his grief and he would be encouraged to take something and go to counseling to manage his problems. It doesn't feel like to me that the human person is allowed, in this culture, to properly account for great suffering and black evil. Certainly Job saw his problem as God's problem and turned his grief toward God, not towards a solution of feeling better. He was physically and materially destroyed but he recognized all the troubles as spiritual, as being in God's hands to deal with. 

I keep running across Christians--on the internet so not personally, I'm just reading what they're writing--who are really sad, unhappy, and not desirous of dying on the hill of upholding biblical marriage in the face of a whole world who wants 'marriage equality'. The trouble is, we Christians weren't super desirous of dying on the divorce hill, we let that hill melt underneath us and went on living. We didn't die on the abortion hill, however many of us would have been willing to die on that hill. So now the hill is marriage equality and while many don't want to die on this hill, many have finally been willing to. None of these hills are what anyone would pick. But eventually the hill will just be owning a bible, as we saw in North Korea this week. Will Christians be willing to die for just owning a bible, never mind if they open and read it? 

Speaking of suffering, the heating contraption in this house, I believe it's called a furnace however ridiculous that appallation is at this very moment, what with the ice cold air blowing all over everywhere, is malfunctioning. When I'm cold I feel in my flesh that God has rejected me and is getting ready to cast me into Sheol, gray hairs and all. I just can't stop being angry when I'm cold. And when people who enjoy the cold, who come in on a brisk Sunday morning into the church kitchen to rejoice over the biting wind and sloshing wet snow, it's hard for me to understand how Jesus can be Lord of us both.

Matt is preaching on the Widow's Mite on Sunday. Vaguely under the impression that he will be preaching against her. Good times, good times.

Me, I'm getting ready for Advent. Advent candles, prophecy cards, maybe even that Jesse Tree I sarcsstically considered earlier in the week. I do love Advent, almost in proportion to how much I loathingly tolerate Christmas. Not that I dislike the Incarnation. I think that part is swell. It's all the tinsel and the wrapping paper that stresses me out. And it is all about me. Me me me. See, I can get into the Christmas Spirit.

Seven may be a perfect number, but it's too much for me this morning. I have to get up and make the children do school. How many times shall I make the children do school, O My Father, seven times? Woe is me, not seven times but seventy seven times. 
Everything gets jumbled in the morning.

Have a great weekend and go check out Jen!

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