Job 15-17; Acts 6:1-7:16; Psalm 39
Although our reading scheme takes us through the Old Testament chronologically – [the book of Job is read after Genesis as it is impossible to date with surety, and many consider it to be amongst the oldest of writings] – reading a Psalm and the Old and New Testament together gradually alerts us to the ways in which all of Scripture refers back and forth to itself. It is all but impossible to pray Psalm 39, and not find ourselves praying with Job, who remained silent seven days but then burst forth in speech before God, who asks that the Lord withdraw his hand from him.
And to read of Job, who was righteous like no other, who seems to suffer through no fault of his own and therein also to see Stephen – one full of wisdom and the Spirit – also righteous, and also now suffering. Stephen then in his answer to his accusers draws us back into this story, all the time the text calling to us, ‘All of Life is here – here are words of Life.’
And Stephen himself, chosen to wait on tables, to see to the daily distribution of food. As a faithful disciple his very life directs us to the Living One. Once more, the word, this time enacted directs us to The Word – the one who is full of the Spirit and Wisdom – and who took the form of a servant and gave us the bread from heaven.