10

October 2021

Oct

Bitter Complaints

Born to Trouble

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

“What shall we pray about today?” Perhaps your congregation is used to hearing such a phrase in worship on a regular basis. Many congregations have a regular time of sharing “joys and concerns” during worship. But for others, it seems like an intrusion on the order of worship; and should the attempt be made, there would be an uncomfortable silence. Yet scripturally, we know we are called to pray for one another. How can we do that without hearing what the needs might be, or where the hurts are?

Job 23:1-9, 16-17, NIRV [1]

23 Job replied,

2“Even today my problems are more than I can handle.
In spite of my groans, God’s hand is heavy on me.
3I wish I knew where I could find him!
I wish I could go to the place where he lives!
4I would state my case to him.
I’d give him all my arguments.
5I’d find out what his answers would be.
I’d think about what he would say to me.
6Would he strongly oppose me?
No. He wouldn’t bring charges against me.
7There honest people can prove to him they’re not guilty.
There my Judge would tell me once and for all that I’m not guilty.

8“But if I go to the east, God isn’t there.
If I go to the west, I don’t find him.
9When he’s working in the north, I don’t see him there.
When he turns to the south, I don’t see him there either.”

Job 23:16-17

16“God has made my heart weak.
The Mighty One has filled me with terror.
17But even the darkness of death won’t make me silent.
When the darkness of the grave covers my face, I won’t be quiet.”

Visual Aids:

  • Red circle stickers to place on “Job”
  • Bible
  • Plate full of animals.

Message:

Remember last week when I told you that the story of Job was going to become sad? (Allow children to confirm.) Let’s pick up the story from last week. (Bring “Job” back out.) Job had thousands of animals. Job had a large family. Job had friends. (Place the plate back in the hands of “Job.”)

What happened next? In the book of Job, we also meet God’s enemy. God’s enemy gets jealous that someone would want to be so faithful to God. God’s enemy told God that Job wouldn’t complain about anything in life because he had everything. Look at all the animals, friends, and family that Job had. God’s enemy told God that if Job were to lose everything, then Job would blame God and not remain faithful.

God said, “Prove it!”

So, God’s enemy sent painful sores all over Job’s body. (Place the red stickers on the face and head area of “Job.”) Job got a piece of a broken pot to scratch the sores. His wife told him to stop being faithful to God. He lost all his animals. He lost his family. It seemed that he had lost everything. (Take away the plate of animals from “Job.”)

What do you think was Job’s response? (Allow children to answer.) Job didn’t blame God at all! He knew that it was God who had given him everything. It was God’s right to take it away. Job praised God! How many of you would praise God when something was taken away from you? Not many. It’s hard to praise God when things seem to be going bad, isn’t it?

It’s hard to end a children’s message with such sadness that Job experienced. I am glad that the story of Job doesn’t end this week. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Job next week.

This week, we should remember to always praise God. I can remember the words of a song from when I was younger called, “That’s What Friends Are For.” The song lyrics were:

Keep smiling, keep shining.
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure.
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more.
That's what friends are for.
[2]

That sounds like a song that Job might have played in his earbuds, reminding him that God is always with him. In good times and in bad, Job trusted that God was there for him – even though his earthly friends had turned against him. Job’s wife was telling him to stop being faithful to God. Even though Job lost everything, he was able to believe that God was for him and not against him. Whether in sickness or in health, with or without thousands of animals, with or without his earthly friends, without all those relationships and all the things he had, Job was still a child of God. Keep praising God, Job!

Prayer:

God of love, who is worthy of our praise: Remind us, even when things go wrong, to always praise your name. Thank you for always being with us. In good times and in bad times, knowing we can always trust in you makes us want to praise you! Amen.


[1] New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

[2] Songwriters: Burt F Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, “That's What Friends Are For” lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management, Royalty Network.

In This Series...


Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Green

In This Series...


Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes