June 1, 2021
Signal Mountain UMC
Scenic South District
Job 1:21 (NRSV)
Job 1:21 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-10
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
The Lord Gives, The Lord Takes AwayI have heard an old saying since childhood that seems particularly poignant during this time of pandemic. We see loved ones succumb to some illness, whether or not it was exacerbated by Covid 19. We see some young people committing suicide. I’m sure it seems to those young people that there is no hope. A hurting world. Hurting children of God. Is it God’s doing?
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I have to agree. Every day he is doing these very same actions. The Lord gives the sunshine and the rain. The Lord gives us life more abundantly when we give him ours to use as he wills. At least we can recognize the abundant life we have been living looking through his eyes. The Lord takes away pride, arrogance, selfishness … if we let him. The Lord gives joy and truth and beauty to a joyless, ruthless, and ugly world. He has always given these and he always will give these. He takes away sin and death and abolishes evil. It is ours to allow him to do this. If we hold sin and death and evil close and never allow them to “see the light of day,” then we are lost and darkness – gross darkness – will cover the land.
With God, it’s never “too late” to turn and embrace him. He knows if the turn is real or just a ruse, no matter how many times you have turned away and come back and turned away again. He has not moved. He will not be moved … by anything less than his own awesome power. He is Father, “Abba,” Teacher, Friend, Counselor, The Prince of Peace, The Holy Spirit … he is each and every one and more. Matt Redman’s song, “Blessed Be Your Name,” we hear echo in our hearts … “you give and take away ….”
The Lord gives his only son. He takes away the sins of the world.
Lord, help me to give love. Help me give friendship. Help me give myself more fully in your service. Help me take away others’ pain by listening and offering a hand. Keep us all close to you as we continue to navigate our lives, and help us in our dedication to the doing of your Holy Will. Amen.