Thursday, 29 October 2015

Let the Mystery Be

This morning I am following up on yesterday’s sermon and pondering the mystery of life.  I based my sermon (which is posted seperately) attached) on the reading from the book of Job.  It is something of a mystery why the book of Job was included in the canon of the bible as it puts God in a less than favourable light.  Job becomes the pawn in a celestial wager between God and Satan with dire consequences for Job and his family.  However, the story does have a happy ending for Job. All that Job loses is restored to him and he lives happily ever after and dies at a ripe old age of biblical proportions.
In the course of the story Job demands an audience before God and demands justice.  However, God is less than sympathetic to Job’s plight and states that God and God’s works are beyond Job’s comprehension.  Job humbles himself and admits to God that it is beyond his comprehension:
Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”     
It is hard for us human being to live in the mystery of life.  We can deny it as some people with a scientific bent try and believe that we will solve the mystery of creation.  Or, as religious people, we can try and put God in a nice box that we define and tie up with a bright bow.  However, if we are honest and humble enough, as Job was, we can try and live in the mystery of life.  In my sermon I quote Helen Luke, one of my favourite authors who is one of the great explorers of this mystery:
true mystery is the eternal paradox at the root of life itself—it is that which, instead of hiding truth, reveals the whole not the part.  So when, after having made every effort to understand, we are ready to take upon ourselves the mystery of things, then the most trivial of happenings is touched by wonder, and there may come to us by grace, a moment of unclouded vision. 
True paradox can be difficult to understand and to live with but it is in paradox that we can discover God.  I believe that we are called to let the mystery be in all its wonder and respond to God with praise and thanksgiving.  I will close with a verse from my favourite song on this mystery; Let the Mystery Be by Iris Dement:
Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from. Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

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