The readings for Sunday, August 21, 2016:
Job 38:25-27; 41:1-8; 42:1-6
In these passages, God continues to give Job a tour of creation. When I first read it, it was hard for me to shake the tone of God saying to Job, "Who are you to question me?" But my response still shows a human-centered approach to God, God as being defensive.
Why is it so hard for us to come to Job's realization? Why is it hard to see God as expansive?
For some of us, it's hard because we have to admit our puniness. Humans are not the center of the universe. Creation was not made for humans. We are not the largest element or the smallest--and that means contemplating the idea that we are not the most important.
I will be interested to see how theologians wrestle with these ancient views during our own time of extreme climate change. Is it different to read the texts for this week as we create new records for hottest month and hottest year on record?
I find this vision in Job a comfort in our own times of mass extinction. Creation will continue, even as various species expire. God will continue to delight in creation, in all of its varieties.
God seems to invite Job to join in this wonder and exaltation. I'd like to see other translations of Job's response. My text uses words like despise, dust, and ashes. Job's response seems extreme, but maybe it's just more ancient, and thus, harder for me to understand.
Like Job, I need to return to this vision that God offers. I despair in what seems like planetary depletion, but God reminds us that the Creator works in wondrous ways. I need to be reacquainted with this rain bearing God, the one who makes grass spring out of the desolation.