Jesus’ hour has come. All the gospels use this word—the hour—for Jesus’ passion. They mean not sixty minutes, of course, but the time of decision. None of the other words we use to measure time denotes the seriousness of decision—not “just a second” or “in a minute”; not “this week” or “this month” or “next year.” Not even this life, this age, this era bring us to decision. But, the day dawned, and his hour has come.
To humble you and test you. . . by letting you hunger. Have you been there? Have you not been there? Who is “you” anyway?
Tto quote rather famously, “Oh Jonah, he lived in a whale [2x] / For he made his home in / That fish’s abdomen . . . but it ain’t necessarily so. Indeed, the story of Jonah is not about that fish. And the book is so easy to read—just four chapters—that we ought to wonder: Has church focused on the unbelievable word in this book in order to not hear the undesirable word from the book?
Don’t you sometimes feel that religion, the way we do it, is no match for the way the world does wrong? Every day in this city, police stop and frisk–violate–two thousand mostly black and brown men doing nothing wrong–and what has church to say to that sorrow? A few weeks ago, an eighteen year old Bronx boy was shot and killed by a policeman in the bathroom of his own home. He was unarmed, scared, dumping something in the toilet bowl. What is old time religion for that boy, that family, for any citizen whose heart cries out at the dawning of another day of evil?
or many Sundays to come, we are going to tune our hearts to hear through the book of Job a word of promise and power for the church of God, for this church, and for any people bereft of what belongs to them; any people kept from sharing in what is good by powers that bind them. When we are done, you will never forget God’s word to you through Job.
“There is a place in your soul that neither time, nor space, nor no created thing can touch” (Meister Eckhart). There is a part of you you do not need to put behind a hard shell–a part of you that is not wounded and cannot be harmed; a part of you that can love, no matter what happens.