October 10 brings us to one of Job’s (many) bitter complaints against God. Job is so sure he’s in the right, he would be able to convince God in a court of law that he has been treated unjustly. But God isn’t anywhere to be found. Job cannot feel God’s presence, feels powerless in the situation, and sinks deeply into depression.
I know so many of us deal with some form of depression at some point in our lives. Sometimes it occurs after a loss — like Job’s — sometimes it occurs when we have everything everybody tells us that should make us happy. Depression robs us of so much but maybe the worst thing it takes is our ability to have perspective.
Soren Kierkegaard once said that his father contributed to his education by having him attend dinner parties as a child. Then after everyone had gone home, Kierkegaard’s father had him sit in each chair and talk from the perspective of the guest who had dined there. His father intentionally invited people with opposing points of view and Kierkegaard became skilled at not only developing an appreciation for his own perspective but how central perspective is to everything we think, say and do.
That’s why I’m including a picture of Mt. Bethel from Google’s satellite view. The mission study reminded us how many different perspectives members have of the church. As we live into the findings of the study and the vision the congregation embraced from it, we’re learning not to fear different perspectives but to grow into the stature of Christ by graciously, even eagerly, seeking them out to change our own perspective.
Job in this week’s passages (23:1-9, 16-17) is very certain that his perspective IS “what it is.” His three friends all tell him their perspectives on his suffering, each convinced that HIS perspective is “what it is.” What is the book asking us to do with this understanding of human experience and interaction – its limits, and its limitless possibilities? Join with us Sunday online or in worship to see.