On Sunday, October 7, 2012 we began reading from the Book of Job in our worship (which uses the Revised Common Lectionary to inform scripture choices for our Sunday worship). We will continue to read from this book for the remaining Sundays in October. Among the themes explored in this ‘parable’ are good, evil, God, creation, fate, suffering, pain, faith, doubt, lament, praise, and more. Here are some of today’s sounds in the Wind Chimes as we explore the Book of Job.
What do you hear?
“On the Church in the Modern World”
This ‘Pastoral Teaching’ of the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965. Often referenced by it’s Latin title, Gaudium et Spes, it is one of the documents of Vatican II (1962-1965). Consider these words from the teaching:
…the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. (Gaudium et spes, No. 4; emphasis mine)
The questions of Job, the responses of Job’s friends, Job’s own response to his plight, the role of God in deprivation, suffering, and pain, the presence of God in the midst of these things, are not just parts of an ancient story but contemporary questions (“perennial questions”) of folks like you me, questions addressed to the Church. So what do we learn from Job and what do we hear the Spirit singing in the chimes?
A contemporary story of faith and struggle and hope beginning with cancer
If everyone’s life is a book, and every day a page, then there are some days that deserve to be dog-eared. Your high school graduation, your wedding day, the birth of your children, and the day that your doctor discusses cancer with you for the first time.
If you are a caregiver, or about to be one, this book can hopefully shortcut the learning curve that sliced me to shreds.
This book is the story of my wife’s cancer and our journey through the medical system that eventually led us to one of the most cutting edge, lifesaving surgeries on earth.
—Bob Marcotte introducing You Mean Besides the Cancer?
I am proud to call Bob and Carole Marcotte my friends. Carole is living with cancer. Bob is her primary caregiver. Bob has journaled his thoughts and made them available to others in his book and his blog You mean besides the cancer? I encourage you to explore (and buy) the book.
Dear Lord, for all in pain we pray to thee,
O come and smite again thine enemy.
Give to thy servants skill to soothe and bless,
And to the tired and ill give quietness.
And, Lord, to those who know pain may not cease,
Come near, that even so they may have peace.
—Amy Carmichael (1868-1951) in Lyn Klug, ed., Soul Weavings: A gathering of women’s prayers, p. 48