Stories of Hope: Uncertainty & Searching
This form leads you through the lesson for Wednesday, November 11th. You can fill it out on your own, but it will be even more meaningful if you can have a parent or faith mentor join you in reflection and conversation. Start by watching the video, which can be found here:
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
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Take some time to share stories with your family. Tell about a time you were lost (like Melissa was in Kohl's!). Or, tell about a time when you lost something important and searched earnestly for it. Describe how you felt during your search.
We did it!
Read Luke 15:1-10, parables about searching for lost things and rejoicing when they are found. Do you think it makes sense for a shepherd to leave 99 sheep alone in the wilderness to search for one, or for a woman to gather all her friends and family together to celebrate finding one lost coin? What do you think might explain the strange behavior in these parables?
Sometimes, when we see or experience chaos and suffering, we might feel like we've lost God, like we can't find God anywhere! The Old Testament story of Job is the story of a good, innocent man who loses his wealth (thousands of head of livestock were stolen or killed), his children (all 10 were killed when their house collapsed) and his health (his whole body became covered in sores from head to toe). Poor Job! [You can read all about these tragedies in chapters 1 and 2.] The whole remainder of the book is about Job trying to reconcile this terrible new reality with his conviction that God is good. Read Job 23:1-9 to read how Job was feeling that God was absent or hiding. Have you ever, like Job, struggled to see or trust God's presence?
It's easy for us to see God in good times, when things are going really well. Martin Luther, however, talks about a Theology of the Cross--we believe that God is even present and at work in times of suffering. Maybe especially in times of suffering! The key example is the cross of Jesus, a sad and painful event that God used to change the world forever! Using the theology of the cross is a completely different way of "looking for" God, even when our eyes can't see God. By faith we trust that God is good and present and at work even when God (and God's power and glory) seems hidden from us. Job reaches this conclusion even as he laments the tragedies in his life.
God is present and powerful in both the good times and the bad!
In times of chaos, suffering and uncertainty, we may find ourselves searching for God. We may find it difficult to see God or God's activity. We may wonder if God is hiding or absent altogether. Whether or not we "find" God, we can rejoice that God has found us!! Our hope in times of uncertainty is that God finds us and saves us regardless of our own uncertainty and lostness. God loves each of us so much that God goes to extensive lengths to find us and claim us (whether we're wandering in the wilderness like a lost sheep or collecting dust under a couch like a lost coin). That is why the composer who wrote Amazing Grace celebrates that "I once was lost, but now am found."
Do you have any questions or comments to share about hope in times of uncertainty & searching? If not, thanks for doing the lesson today! Join us for worship on Sunday (live or later, 9:30 am on
). Don't forget to be filling out your worship notes if you haven't done 6 yet!
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