Today’s readings, especially the reading from Job and the reading from Mark, are full of really big questions. Full of big questions that all of us ask at some time.
We can join with Job in his absolute bewilderment at what is happening with him. Or more precisely in his pleading’ “why O God have YOU done this to me?” How often have we heard people ask that question? How often have we asked that question? At the heart of this question is our understanding of God, and God in our lives. It is such a fundamental question. And we will have to wait another week to hear how God responds. As we wait and ponder that question it might be helpful to remember that the lectionary has led us from the initial story of Job’s misfortune and completely missed his friends’ unhelpful attempts to aid him. They live in a very narrow theological world and they invite us to wonder in what way our narrow theological world is being challenged in this story.
Jesus too is confronted with another of those questions that come out of our understanding of God and the world and holds our hopes and fears; “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” At so many levels this is such a flawed question. To inherit contains a large element of entitlement. But eternal life is a gift. Again, narrow theological views leading to big questions that can lead us down the wrong path.
What big questions are we asking? What do they reveal about us? What might we be invited to let go of as we read these readings?