Job 23:1-9, 16-17; Ps 22: 1-15; Heb 4: 12-16; MK 10: 17-31
Loving God, grant that your grace may always precede and follow us. Amen.
The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and the readings minatory (again.) There is a tone of increasing desperation and self-accusation. “But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people. All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord’ let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.’” Perhaps this seems more comforting, “The Almighty has terrified me; if only I could banish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face.” Maybe, since this is less personal, not in the first person, this sounds less frightening: “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” None of this is comforting, and none sounds particularly hopeful, and there’s the Mark reading to come.