There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; And he was essentially a blameless dude, and unarrogant, And he was blessed with seven sons, and three daughters, Which is a lot of children, and where, I ask politely, is the Part of the Book of Job where we talk about Job’s spouse, Who is conspicuously not discussed in the back and forth With his buddies and then suddenly the Big Guy Himself Answering out of the whirlwind and commanding old Job To gird up his loins, which loins were undeniably vigorous Previous to the Lord interrupting Job, and after the Maker Finishes one of the greatest eloquent scoldings of all time, He grants old Job another seven sons and three daughters, Again without the slightest thanks for the astounding Mrs. Job who suddenly has twenty count them twenty children With no mention of her humor, or the vast hills of diapers, Or her wit which survived kids throwing up and the sheep Wandering off, and plagues of locusts and things like that. A good editor, I feel, would have asked for just a glancing Nod to the wry hero of the tale, at least acknowledgment; Something like a new last line after So Job died, being old and full of days, which might read, And also passed a most Amazing woman, of whom nothing other than the blessing Was ever said, her heart being a gift beyond calculation by Man, her mind sharp, her tongue gentle, her hands a mercy, And her very presence full reason to kneel in prayer at that Which the Lord in His mercy has made and granted briefly. A line like that would only hint at her, but it’s a start, right?
This Sunday’s lectionary texts are particularly awful. I’m like the boy who cried wolf with bad lectionary selections, but hear me out on this one. At my church, we are using track two, the thematic track, of the RCL. Here are the lessons for Sunday.
Today’s Gospel lesson, though not a traditional baptismal text, embodies the spirit of the sacrament: the ones bringing the children to Jesus are not necessarily parents; they are “people” moved to care for these little ones. This choice of language leads us to ask, if the adults bringing the children to Jesus are not their parents, then who are they? Why do these men and women stand up to the disciples for the sake of children that are not biologically theirs?
One summer when I was a children’s camp counselor at a Presbyterian camp in northern Indiana, I spent long days listening to what we counselors affectionately referred to as nonstop “wubbins questions.”