you rule the world from end to end
and for all time.
You alone are God. In you alone we hope.
Forgive our sins.
Heal our diseases.
Save our lives from destruction.
We repent of our stubbornness and pride.
We desire to yield ourselves more fully to your will.
Keep us in your presence
that we might serve and witness in
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hymnal #692 - written by Ernest
adapted from A Book of Pastoral Prayers,
Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York and Nashville, © 1951
"On top of the world?"
Right now, I
bet most of you are on top of the world. Why would I say that? Youíre
absolutely right! School is finished for the year. Furthermore,
summer "officially" began yesterday. A few of you have
graduated up to a new school next fall. Of course, I know that a
few of you arenít in school yet, though maybe you soon will be.
The start of summer, however, is something to celebrate, along
with the fact that we finally have a weekend when it isnít
raining! Yeah. Thank you, God! So, are you on top of the world? I
we just heard is from a book in the Bible about a man named Job.
Any of you ever heard of him? At the beginning of his story, which
is very long and I wonít tell much of it, Job was on the top of
the world. Everything was going right for him. He had every reason
to be happy. And then, everything fell apart. He lost everything.
Imagine how you would feel if you were just told that vacation has
been canceled and you have to report back to school tomorrow for
the rest of the summer. Well, for Job it was much, much, much
worse than that.
Now, the story
is about how Job faced into his problems, which were not his
fault. He didnít do anything to cause them. He had many
questions, all beginning with the word "why?" Most of
the book involves Job wondering why all these bad things happened.
He wanted answers from God. He was tempted to say
"phooey" with God, to stop believing, to stop following
the Lord - because of all the bad things that happened to him. But
he didnít, though he sure wanted to argue with God about it. The
book is full of his thoughts, as well as the thoughts of his
friends, about "why" these bad things happened.
we heard this morning is from the end of the story, when finally
God answered Job. God came to Job, it says, "out of a
whirlwind," from the middle of a really big storm, like the
"eye" (maybe) of a tornado. Only this storm didnít
blow Job and his friends away. God spoke to Job out of that
whirlwind. Did God answer all Jobís questions? Did God tell Job
why all those bad things happened? No. Instead, God asked Job
questions. Lots of them. The questions God asked were much bigger
than the questions Job asked.
is, after God was finished, Job was satisfied. God didnít answer
his questions, but God was there. And that was enough for Job. You
see, there are a lot of questions we all have in life for which we
donít have answers - even us adults. Sometimes, itís enough
just to know that God is God, and that God is there.
story has a happy ending. God put him on top of the world again.
Good things started happening. God made things right in the end.
It was sort of like summer vacation began. Yeah! Letís pray.
Dear God, thank you for summer, for school and its
ending, for vacation. Thank you that we can come to you
with our questions, though, even when everything goes
wrong. Just like Job. Help us not to give up on you when
bad things happen. Help us to hear you speak in the middle
of the storm. Thank you for making things right in the
end, through Jesus Christ. Amen.