Worship materials for the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost through Reign of Christ Sunday were contributed by Phil Hobbs of Belleville Presbytery, Picton, Ont.
Job 42:16, 1017
Job acknowledges Gods power; Jobs fortunes are restored.
Psalm 34:18, (1922) (VU pp. 761762)
Taste and see that God is good.
Christ the permanent High Priest
The healing of blind Bartimaeus.
The dramatic story of the healing of Bartimaeus cries out to be told in the first person by the preacher, seated on a simple stool or chair with a simple cloth covering his or her head and shoulders. The stool is placed centre stage or in an easily visible place. One could also enter down the side aisle calling out Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! After taking a seat, tell the story and then exit by another aisle to follow Jesus in the Way. It is very important that all can hear the story, so use a remote or headset microphone.
Theme Engagement Question
What would mercy look like in your life or in the life of someone you love?
If possible, have the children present for the dramatic telling of the gospel story or read to them the story of Bartimaeus from Ralph Miltons Family Story Bible (Westminster/John Knox, 1997). (See ad on page 31.)
The psalm also reads: [God] is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit (verse 18).
The book of Job offers the conventional wisdom that God knows best, that we must somehow deserve our suffering, and that our job is to capitulate and know that our suffering will be rewarded. Surely we must reject this tidy conclusion of Job and recognize that there is no easy way to deal with tension between the reality of suffering and our belief in Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love (A Song of Faith). Share the story in Elie Wiesels Night (FSG Adult, 2006) of a child being hanged in Auschwitz for the crime of stealing a piece of bread, which asks the question, Where is God? Faces of colleagues, family, and friends come to mind, those who suffer from ALS, HIV/AIDS, Parkinsons disease, and more. Surely those who suffer deserve more than conventional wisdom?
If using the Hebrews passage, address the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. Look at other doctrines of the cross, including that of Celtic Christianity as discussed in J. Philip Newells Christ of the Celts (Jossey Bass, 2008).
VU 371 Open my eyes
VU 570 Jesus hands were kind hands
VU 611 Out of the depths, O God
VU 612 There is a balm in Gilead
VU 613 We cannot measure how you heal
VU 614 In suffering love
VU 696 Homeless people
VU 616 A prayer for healing