In the midst of all this turmoil, we come to the Bible readings for this upcoming Sunday, June 24th. While we have the opportunity to commemorate St. John the Baptist, we will be using the Lectionary 12 readings during worship.
With all of these things in the background, plus whatever is happening in your life, what are the important ideas, themes, insights, and questions that pop into your mind as your read these passages? I will share my thoughts below in italics. I encourage you to use the comments section to tell me what reactions these readings (and my additional comments) provoke within you.
Job 38:1 - 11
1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements-- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone
7 when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?--
9 when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors,
11 and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped'? (Job 38:1-11 NRS)
God’s response to Job and his friends comes after approximately 35 chapters of debating the goodness and righteousness of God. Job believes that he is be unjustly persecuted by God. Some of Job’s friends are pushing him to confess the sin for which God is punishing him. God’s invitation/demand for Job (and the others?) to “gird up your loins” means that he was asking him/them to tie up their long robe/tunic/garment, which often extended down near one’s ankles while walking or at leisure. By “girding” the garment, the wearer would have more freedom of movement for labor or combat. The rest of the passage can be summarized as God saying to Job, “Here’s who I am. Who the heck are you?”
Psalm 107:1 - 3, 23 - 32