I invite all of you to reflect together on the story of Job, a man who was tested by God but remained faithful to him. He humbled himself under the hand of God, and accommodated himself to the providences he was under, as one that knew how to want as well as how to abound. We all know his story and the way that his friends addressed him in the most difficult time of his life.
Job loved God with all his heart, he never denied him, and he did nothing to deserve so much sufferance. He never assumed that he was totally pure, but he always defended his righteousness. For his friends there was one single rule, he suffer for his sins. We, as well, know that our acts and doings have consequences in our life and in the others lives. What about the situation when humans without any kind of personal sins, like children, suffer the consequences of all kind of evil. Job’s history is this kind of reality. It is a deep cry out of the man who doesn’t know why this sufferance came over him.
This difficult time puts us to the test too. Our future once secure, now look uncertain. This pandemic isolated us from our family, friends and neighbours. Like Job’s friends, we are tempted to find answers in an easy way for today’s pain. We are tempted to say simple: we did wrong and we have this evil. But remains the same question: what about those who never did a personal, consented sin like children.
It is an arrogant act to think in this simple way. This kind of time is an invitation to exercise humility, to watch out around us, to listen, to meditate about our life, world, and faith. Can we understand totally why something is happening to us?
Job couldn’t understand, but he knew one thing: he will remain faithful to his God in whatever happens to him and he knew that God will take care of the rest. He did his best and received the best from his God.
It is a strong invitation for us in today’s testing time: do our best as children of God, as Christians, as ordinands, lay ministers, priests, we, all, here present, and keep our faith in God. He will do his best for us. We are sent to give this message to the world, to all his beloved children.
Cornelia Noghiu, Ordinant of the CofE, Sounthend on Sea, 16th of June, 2020.
(Reflection prepared for Evening Prayer, for the students of St. Mellitus College, Chelmsford Center, UK – 18 June- 2020)