Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes
Mystery Worship Series (October 2018)
Week 2: SILENCED
November 1 All Saints Day
November 4 All Saints Sunday
Daylight Saving Time Ends (USA)
A Season of Saints (2018 Resources Forthcoming)
November 11 Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Veterans Day (USA)
Extended Advent Begins
November 18 Bible Sunday
November 18-25 National Bible Week (USA)
November 22 Thanksgiving Day (USA)
November 25 Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
United Methodist Student Day (offering)
December 1 World AIDS Day
December 2 Advent-Christmas Series (Year C) Begins (Forthcoming)
December 21 Longest Night/Blue Christmas
December 24 Christmas Eve (evening)
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Kwanzaa
December 31 Watch Night/New Year’s Eve
Today is the third week of the “Mystery” series. Job has come nearly face-to-face with God, or at least to God’s very real presence. The reading this week is a small part of God’s response to Job’s accusations. We find Job, and perhaps ourselves, silenced in the reality of God’s almighty power. God reminds Job that God alone created the foundation of the earth and cosmos. God controls all of creation, the animals, the seas, the lightning. It is a remarkable reminder of God’s power, one that should leave us awestruck.
Here are Taylor Burton-Edwards’ notes on designing worship from the 2015 Year B cycle:
Today’s service may rise or fall with the way this week’s text is read and heard.
If we understand God is not adding massive insult to the injury already inflicted by the “friends” throughout this drama, but pointing in a radically different way, answering Job’s real questions with more profound ones, it will be important that the reading of this text sound nothing like a rant or a further accusation.
So while this text may seem to cry out for a “booming voice from the thunderclouds” kind of soundscape (à la "The Great and Terrible Oz”), perhaps there is a better way, a way more likely to promote awe than humiliation.
Consider the voice of a child, reading deliberately. Or the voice of a very old adult, or someone with an accent different from the dominant accents in the congregation. Whomever you select for this reading, either rehearse it well if it is to be live or record and edit it well if it functions as voiceover narration, either in a silent, darkened room, or as backdrop to a slide presentation.
Consider silence as the soundscape, or a thunderstorm followed by silence, and then the reading.