FIRST LESSON: Job 38: 1-11
Psalm 107: 1-3, 23-32
EPISTLE: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13
GOSPEL: Mark 4: 35-41
O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
1. JOB 38: 1-11
All of us have those moments where we look to the heavens and we just wonder “why?” Why did my life turn out this way? Why do things happen outside our control? Why do friends and family turn against us? The book of Job was written to address questions such as this. After about thirty four chapters detailing conversation Job and his three friends shared (much of it argumentative and counter-productive!) Job finally gets his chance to ask God “why?” How would you describe God’s answer? Is it what you would have expected? Did God really answer Job’s question?
2. PSALM 107: 1-3, 23-32
In this psalm, four different scenes of distress are described. Of the four, we only read the last one as it appears in vv. 23-27. How would you describe the event mentioned in these verses? Is there a story in the Gospels that these verses remind you of?
3. 2 CORINTHIANS 6: 1-13
When Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth (scholars actually believe he wrote four, and 2 Corinthians is considered his fourth ) there was a strong connection between adversity and virtue. In vv. 4-5 Paul lists nine hardships as a result of his ministry. In doing so he is not bragging, but rather these hardships show Pauls’ incredible endurance in the midst of adversity, and his endurance creates virtue. The very virtues in Paul’s list in vv. 6-7 are what enabled Paul to endure adversity. What is the relationship between adversity and virtue as you see it?
4. MARK 4: 35-41
The story of Jesus calming the storm is one of the most well-known in the Gospels. Let’s look at one of the often overlooked details of the story – the fact that Jesus was asleep during the storm. That he was asleep is an intentional detail, because in certain cases in the Bible (though not always) sleep represents a position of trust in God. (for reference, look at Job 11:18-19). To go to sleep means that we trust we will be in safety. It is a foretaste of our own death when we surrender our consciousness, trusting we will awake the following day. What does the fact of Jesus’ sleeping during the raging storm suggest to you?
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