On first read, today’s scripture readings really contrast with each other. In ways, they are unsettling and convicting and yet, they are also calming and reassuring. In Job, Job has apparently questioned God’s wisdom and actions. The Lord let’s Job know (quite sarcastically) that he is in charge and Job is not. Job apologizes. The psalmist proclaims the wisdom and power of the Lord. “I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” And in Luke, Jesus has sent out disciples through the land. Apparently several towns have rejected them and Jesus issues a stern warning to these towns. Jesus says to his disciples, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me reject the one who sent me.”
A week from today I will be headed to Colorado for my niece’s wedding. My niece is a lovely, wonderful, young woman. Her bride-to-be is an impressive, young man. I’ve met his parents and they are good people. The gowns have been fitted, the tuxedoes rented, the flowers ordered and the feast is ready. My youngest son will be the ring bearer. Your typical, traditional wedding. The wedding will be in Estes Park with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. A setting that truly reveals God’s glory. Except for one thing. God is not invited. God’s name will not be spoken at this wedding. To say this is a point of consternation for me is to put it mildly. And, of course, I am not the only one with these feelings. I have been praying about this a great deal. What is the point of speaking wedding vows if the vows are not spoken before God? Should I participate in a wedding where God is not proclaimed? Should I even be attending this wedding?
Well, today’s scripture readings helped me in that decision. I am so like Job. I am always questioning God’s wisdom. Why did this happen, what was the purpose of that, why would you allow a wedding without you and why would you want me to go to that wedding? Thankfully we worship a knowing, loving and forgiving God. As the psalmist proclaims, “God knows everything about me and no matter where I am, God’s hand is there to guide me.” Jesus sent his disciples throughout the land. What if a disciple had said, I am not going to Bethsaida. They will never repent. They’ll just reject us there.
What if God’s plan was for me to be the one praying for this couple, asking his blessing on them? And I refused to go. This is someone I know and love. Are my principles more important than her life? I should jump at the chance to pray for her. And yet here I sit, questioning whether it is right to go or not. I am going to the wedding. I learned long ago that God and my wife are both much wiser than me. And sometimes, no matter what path my mind tells me to take, I simply have to trust and obey.
My prayer today is for those who, like my niece, do not know Christ. And for those of us who so long to introduce them to Christ. Lord, give us guidance and courage.
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