Sunday Service: 24th October 2021
A worship service was held at 10am on Sunday, 24th October in the church building. You can catch up here, or by following the link below.
The readings for Sunday were:
This morning, Judith spoke briefly about COP26, and about EcoHighland 2021, the programme of events involving Inverness churches which will run parallel with the Conference in Glasgow.
Duncan then preached the concluding sermon on the book of Job. In Job’s time, the perspective was that if you lived with God in mind, then you would be protected from catastrophe. When catastrophe overtook Job, a good man, and his family, he therefore asked ‘Why this? Why me?’ He found no answers, but at close to the end of the book of Job, God speaks to Job, not answering his questions, instead asking him questions which revealed how limited a human being’s understanding of the immensity of God can be.
And Job responds ‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.’ (Job 42:5) There are no answers to Job’s questions – at least no answers he can get his mind round – but it is enough that God has self-revealled to Job. Being the man of faith he is, it is enough for Job to know that God is with him – despite his questions, he entrusts himself to God.
And Duncan pointed out, as Christians we believe that in Jesus (Jesus who himself passed through a Job-like experience of desolation and distance from God (‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me?’) we can have a much closer experience of encounter with God than Job had. In our pain, our agony, our unanswered questions, the God of immensity – and immense love – is not only with us, but within us.
The book of Job was a story people told to help them come to terms with suffering, John says. But we believe that the book is not just a human book, but that it contains whispers from God. In Job, something about what God is truly like is glimpsed. And similarly we approach the life of Jesus not just as a story, but as an account of a man in whom God came among us and died for us. And this is the challenge as we face our sorrows: do I believe? Do I entrust myself to Jesus, to God even when it seems counterintuitive because of the level of my pain?
The Job story (this is still John) has a happy ending (Job 42:10-16) Sometimes in our lives, unimagined joy lies beyond times of darkness. But we know that there are not always happy endings, at least not on this side of death. However there are always opportunities to choose light rather than darkness. And so in faith, and in hope we travel through the dark valleys as Jesus journeys with us