19th Sunday After Pentecost, October 4, 2015
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year B)
Scripture Readings*: Job 1:1; 2:1:10; Psalm 26; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16
Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Disappointed that Job remained faithful to God, despite the loss of his children and wealth, and convinced that just a little more suffering will defeat him, Satan asks permission to cause bodily suffering to Job. God permits Satan to afflict Job, as long as the suffering is not fatal.
Job’s helpmate is no help. His wife, full of great sorrow herself, is unable to give Job any moral support. Rather, she invites him to share her bitterness toward God.
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Long ago, God spoke through intermediaries; prophets (1:1) and angels (see 2:2). The author of Hebrews boldly declares that God now speaks directly, through his Son, Jesus Christ, who is a part of the Godhead. Jesus is both Creator and Redeemer (1:3) and is at His rightful place at God’s right hand (1:3).
God placed the world under our control (2:5–8; see Gen. 1:28). However, because of sin and rebellion, we lost this noble position (2:8; see Gen. 3:6, 17–19). However, there is hope for us, because “we see Jesus” (2:9), who, being made “lower than the angels;” by becoming human (2:14; compare 2:7 and 2:9), has – through his death and resurrection become “a perfect leader” (2:10) and the “High Priest” who is able to completely forgive our sins (2:17–18).
Jesus reminds us that marriage is a divine institution. Because this is true, we are obligated to faithfully observe, honor and protect this covenant relationship. The marriage bond, which God ties, is not to be lightly untied.
Though Jesus’ disciples were nervous – and irritated – about all the boys and girls clamoring to touch Jesus, our Lord chose to use this moment as a stern reminder to his disciples, and us: The kingdom of God will only be received in our hearts if we manifest the same humble resignation of a little child.
Truth is sometimes difficult to hear. Today’s readings remind us that suffering in life is inevitable. Like Job, trials may come despite living with integrity. In Hebrews, we see that sorrow and suffering happens in a fallen world.
When we suffer, it helps us to remember the ultimate Truth: Jesus took on human flesh, becoming “lower than the angels” with us. He entered our brokenness to give us both comfort and hope – hope that all things will one day be made right through Him.
Prayer for Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost– Almighty God, give me grace to bring to You all of life, trusting that You will give more to me than I desire or deserve; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B