60B – Sunday 28B

59B - Sunday 27B61B - Sunday 29B
See also my post from 2012, 2018, 2021

This week’s offering combines both the First Reading and the Psalm from the Revised Common Lectionary, in a “three-way conversation”.  L and R originally indicated Left and Right parts of the congregation while I read the third voice (the Job lection). Alternatively, three individual readers could be used.

Psalm 22:1-15 and Job 23:1-9,16-17
Then Job answered: “Again today my complaint is bitter;
his heavy hand increases my groaning.
If only I knew where I might find him,
that I might come to his place!
(L) Where are you God, where are you?? 
Nothing compares with the pain of your absence. 
(R) God, I cry out for you all day, and there is no answer — nothing;
but at night there is no silence or rest from my inner turmoil. 
I would set out my case in front of him,
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn what his defense would be,
and understand his reply to me.
(L) Yet you are holy, 
the praises of your people in every generation are your throne;
(R) those who trusted in you, and whom you delivered; 
those who cried out to you and were not disappointed. 
Would he use his great power to debate with me?
No; but he would hear what I have to say.
There a sincere person could argue it with him,
and I should be successful in my case
But in my present circumstance I am not worth calling human, 
rather, I’m the scorn of all humanity, despised by everyone. 
It makes no difference who sees me, 
without exception they curl their lip and shake their head: 
(R) “He trusted in the LORD, let the LORD look out for him, 
let the LORD rescue him if he delights in him.” 
It’s as though they know you’re nowhere near. 
(L) Yes, you brought me out of the womb, 
and made me safe on my mother’s breasts.
I was cast on you at birth;
all my life you have been my God.
Job If I go east, he is not there;
and west – I cannot make him out;
to the north he hides, and I cannot see him;
I turn to the south, but I cannot look at him.
Don’t be so far away right now; 
there is trouble almost upon me, and no one to help. 
I am surrounded by fearful intimidating strength, 
circling about me, around and around. 
(L) I haven’t the strength to withstand their taunts or your absence; 
my body is feeble, 
and the very core of my being has melted like wax. 
Job God has made my heart weak;
the Almighty has filled me with terror;
Indeed, I am silenced by the darkness,
and thick darkness covers my face!
(R) I’ve become paralysed and speechless —
and you have set me in the dust of death.

The quotations from the book of Job are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and are used by permission. All rights reserved)

Generous God,
we bring the work of our hands
and the longing of our hearts,
acknowledging that we do not always give
as freely as Jesus calls us to do.
May your Spirit of grace enable us
to live in ways that reflect Jesus. Amen.

For use in worship, with acknowledgement. © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2015.

A CREATIVE MOMENT – Psalm 22:1-15,  Job 23:1-9,16-17
Drape a black cloth from the communion table/altar onto the floor in front to symbolise the “heavy hand” that Job experiences; absence of God and the pain of that absence, which the psalmist experiences; the “thick darkness” that covers Job’s face; the “dust of death” in which the psalmist finds himself. What other aspects of these readings might be symbolised by the black?

(A prayer to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession with connection to the lections for the day. Sometimes this prayer borrows lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)
Hear our prayers for all that concerns us
that the light of your Word and the warmth of your Spirit
may comfort and encourage,
today and in the days to come,
those whom we name in our words
and in our silence.
In Jesus’ name we pray….
      (The Prayers of the People continue)

Looking for contemporary music and song resources?
Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate
Or metrical psalms? Try Dale A. Schoening’s Sing the Psalms

All the sleepy should have a place to sleep TIS 697
Comfort, comfort, all my people TIS 647
Entered the holy place above TIS 374
Great God, your Spirit, like the wind TIS 416
Happy are they that walk in God’s wise ways TIS 1
Lord, you have been our dwelling place TIS 144
Our God, our help in ages past, TIS 47
Spirit of truth, essential God TIS 426
Thank you for giving me the morning TIS 162
What shall I do my God to love, TIS 122
You servants of God, your master proclaim TIS 215
Job 23:1-9,16-17
All go to God when they are sorely placed TIS 240
In suffering love the thread of life TIS 177
Lord, hear my praying, listen to me TIS 689
When human voices cannot sing TIS 682
Psalm 22:1-15
All who see me deride me TIS 9
In the presence of your people TIS 727
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us TIS 580
The God of Abraham praise TIS 125
Hebrews 4:12-16
A man there lived in Galilee TIS 235
Alleluia … The Word of the Lord lasts TIS 257
And now, O Father, mindful of the love TIS 519
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing TIS 387
Come, let us with our Lord arise TIS 375
Forty days and forty nights TIS 591
God of mercy, God of grace TIS 452
Jesus, lover of my soul TIS 211
Join all the glorious names TIS 205
Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour TIS 520
Praise to the Holiest in the height TIS 141
They that believe and are baptized TIS 479
Where cross the crowded ways of life TIS 608
Where high the heavenly temple stands TIS 377
With joy we meditate the grace TIS 206
Mark 10:17-31
Give thanks with a grateful heart TIS 717
Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult TIS 589
My God, accept my heart this day TIS 485
O Master, let me walk with thee TIS 601
Safe in the shadow of the Lord TIS 644
You satisfy the hungry heart TIS 539

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