Sunday 2nd August 2020, The King's Court
In last Sunday’s message we left Job in a sorry state having lost his animals and his children all at the hands of Satan yet Job remained faithful to God despite his suffering. This week Satan is having another go at Job, and this time his suffering is visible to all:
Job 2: 7-13
7 Then Satan left the Lord's presence and made sores break out all over Job's body. 8 Job went and sat by the garbage dump and took a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores. 9 His wife said to him, “You are still as faithful as ever, aren't you? Why don't you curse God and die?”
10 Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God.
11 Three of Job's friends were Eliphaz, from the city of Teman, Bildad, from the land of Shuah, and Zophar, from the land of Naamah. When they heard how much Job had been suffering, they decided to go and comfort him. 12 While they were still a long way off they saw Job, but did not recognize him. When they did, they began to weep and wail, tearing their clothes in grief and throwing dust into the air and on their heads. 13 Then they sat there on the ground with him for seven days and nights without saying a word, because they saw how much he was suffering.
Job, it seems to his wife and friends, is in such a date that death seems better than all he is experiencing, but yet again Job endures and Satan loses as he refuses to curse God for all he is experiencing.
In Kames Tighnabruaich there is a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Project called ‘The King’s Court’. It's run by a charity, 'The Maxie Richards Foundation’, and uses a tenement block of six flats to help addicts find the space and help to recover. Residents come for 6-12 months and often they come at a very dark time in their lives. Here is an example from one former resident:
A lived experience:
Before being admitted [to The King’s Court] I had been in the worst condition ever, totally detached from any kind of spirit I’d ever had. Physically, mentally and emotionally empty.
All through my using I had managed to work but even that was beyond me through abscesses in my lower back through injecting. I had two young kids and one older, an ex-partner who had found someone else, I was homeless again and loads more stuff that wasn’t going my way and the thought of ever getting back into recovery was just completely beyond me.
Sadly, it’s not an uncommon story and most of the residents have their own version to tell. However, it’s a very successful Project and many come through the experience into recovery. It involves training, community experience and involvement, courage and determination and above all encouragement. Here is the second part of that same lived experience:
Today, I have returned to work, I work offshore as a scaffolder, the job I’ve always done. When I’m home I have all my 3 kids, I’m always reminded how fortunate I was to have the chance to stay there and today thank to that I have a fantastic life, one I always try my best to make being worth saving.
The project has a strong Christian ethos and is an example of Christian service and practice that shows faith at its best. Residents are accepted as they are, they are encouraged and supported into recovery of body mind and spirit and as you hear in these words above it’s a transformational experience.
In our time we might not need to contend with Satan playing his games, like he did with Job, but nevertheless life can have its challenges and when drugs are involved it gets really complicated. Thankfully the world also has committed Christian people who want to help, and the staff at The King’s Court are there on the front line. It takes great understanding, acceptance and a strong desire to help to walk with others into their dark place and help lead them out. It truly is an example of Christian services and commitment.
Let’s take the work of the King’s Court to God in prayer:
Gracious and loving God, there are times in our lives when we are touched by the needs of others and we feel tremendous compassion rise up within us. That’s what we feel when we read of Job, tormented by the loss of his property and family and now inflicted with physical torment and suffering. No wonder his wife and friends are touched and distressed by what they see.
There are times too, O God, when we are stuck by those who would seem unworthy, like the woman concerned for her daughter who shows such faith and Jesus is moved to help.
Father we bring to you today the work of The King’s Court, who like Job’s friends are there to sit and be there, to be a friend and to care in Christ’s name. We thank you for the staff and their amazing commitment and skill in reaching out to those in a very dark place and to bring them into the light of hope, and living and a future.
Father may their dedication and the good news of their successes be an inspiration to us all of what it means to live a Christian life and to put our faith into practice by loving and accepting unconditionally.
Father hear our prayer, and hear us as we say together the Lord’s prayer, using sins:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen