Mystery Worship Series (October 2018)
Week 2: DESERTED
Today is the second week of the “Mystery” series. Job is now deep into the trials that have been set upon him. He is in the company of his friends, who are trying to counsel him, but Job is too far into his own darkness to listen. He is wallowing in his own self-pity, and there aren’t many who would blame him for complaining.
Here are Taylor Burton-Edwards’ notes on designing worship from the 2015 Year B cycle:
Whatever else you do in worship today, plan to let your congregation pray these words. Perhaps the best “response” after both readings, Job 23 and Psalm 22, is extended silence. If you are focusing on Job in these weeks, be sure your sermon or message or dialog with the congregation about Job’s questions takes those questions seriously. At this point in Job, there are no answers to the questions. There is only the acknowledgment that these are the honest questions and feelings he has about what is happening to him. Do not try to “protect” your congregation from these questions and these feelings. The Bible doesn’t. Instead, consider today an opportunity for folks to acknowledge similar questions and feelings they may have, or may have had. Offer them before God and one another. And entrust the outcomes to God.
Consider including in your order of worship the Psalm reading: 22:1-15 or UMH 752. This psalm of lament will further illumine Job’s plight and position.
Job’s narrative is heavy on action, and the four readings pick up further ahead in the story each Sunday. You might consider opening the Scripture reading with a short reminder of what they heard/saw last week, and what has transpired in the story. Now that you are further in to the story, encourage your congregation to keep up with the story by doing the daily lectionary readings. Remind people via social media channels and weekly church emails.