Thought for the Day by Bob Shaw (St Michael’s)
Following the daily pattern of readings from the Anglican lectionary has ensured that we hold on to our links with the Old Testament. This is very important because here we discover the roots of Our Lord’s own teaching. It also enables us to maintain a positive relationship with our Jewish and Muslim neighbours, something we can so easily forget.
The Old Testament readings set for us since Pentecost have been focussing on the Book of Job. This book has produced expressions that we still find in English literature. The ‘Patience of Job’ refers to someone willing to endure intense suffering. The expression ‘Job’s Comforter’ describes a person who means to sympathize with you in your grief but says that you brought it on yourself and so adds to your sorrow. Revisiting the Book of Job during this time of global pandemic is also timely in view of its subject matter especially here in Chapter 23 where God seems far off and evil triumphant. Our Lord himself endured the experience of undeserved cruel suffering on the cross where He cried out in a loud voice ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’Jesus has brought us salvation but at what cost!
Clearly we don’t have all the answers to our questions but thankfully we share a faith where the experience of suffering and death does not have the last word. Thank God, Jesus was raised from death to life and in today’s New Testament passage from Romans we are reassured by St. Paul that Jesus is now Lord of all humanity, Jews and Gentiles alike, including you and me! His generosity is offered to all who call on Him, for all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
So, in spite of all our doubts, in the words of St Julian of Norwich
All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.
Thanks be to God