SERMON EXCERPT - Sunday, October 7, commemorating St. Francis of Assissi
Job Job 38:1-40:4 & Luke 12:22-32
God’s creation speech in Job is in answer to, “Why? why me? Why do bad things happen?”
God answers “Were you there when the world was made? Do you feed the young ravens and know when the calves will be born on the mountains? Do you keep the sea in its bounds?” etc.
Which doesn’t seem like an answer to the question. The answer is, “You don’t even know what you are asking. You can’t imagine the reasons behind the universe.” And I don’t think God means it like, ‘you are so tiny, don’t be presumptuous and think you’re that important.’ God is saying, “This creation is so vast and so glorious. And you are part of that glory. You are woven into a fabric of wonder that you can’t step back and see. It is beautiful and so are you, in all of the realities of your life.”
As Christians, we believe that Jesus is part of that great creation speech God makes in Job. God keeps answering our whys, and the best answer is Jesus. God speaks of the vastness of creation, and then says, “Look, I’ll show you. I’ll come to you. This creation is so wondrous I will be in it myself. You are so precious and loved that I will be in your world as you and see it and experience it as God in you.”
Jesus is a continuation of God’s speech to Job, and Jesus continues God’s speech to Job, telling his disciples, “God’s got this. All of it fits into this glorious whole that you can’t comprehend. Don’t spend your lives being anxious. God is taking care of the flowers and the birds, and you are God’s heart, you are cared for beyond anything you can imagine. Believe that, live into it, and you will truly live.
Francis took Jesus at his word. He leaned into and lived into Jesus’ words and God’s creation. He saw the wonder around him and saw God in it. He walked and spent time in wonder. He saw the wonder in the imperfect church people created to worship God, and helped make it better. He saw the wonder and beauty in even the poor and hurting and hungry people, and he went among them, spent time with them, and, taking Jesus at his word, became one of them, giving up all of his earthly possessions. He let nothing get in the way of him seeing and being in and experiencing the wonder of nature and the wonder of humanity.
This is a long story to answer the big question of “Why?” A story that begins with Adam and continues in Job, and ends in Jesus, yet somehow continues to be told through Francis, and through us, when we tell others of God’s love. This is God’s great bedtime story to us, God’s answer to our toddler “why?”s, and we get to be part of this unfathomable tapestry of creation, and part of this great story of great love.