The Lord Restores Job's Fortunes
The Book of Job may seem like a strange passage to draw inspiration from this Hanukkah and Christmas Season, but if we are being honest, I think we would all admit that these past two years, we have had the feeling of being Job or at least being one of Job’s friends. We have seen loved ones lost, businesses destroyed as we have bickered with each other about whether to wear a mask or not and take the vaccine or not. Just as Job’s friend lashed out at him for some secret sin instead of comforting him at his time of loss. In the final passages of Job, the Lord restores prosperity to Job, but only after the Lord rebukes Job and his friends. The restoration occurs only after God instructs Job to pray for his friends. Clearly Job and his friends are living in a community with each other during a time of tremendous stress and they failed each other, but God gave them away to be reconciled to each other and that is the spirit of this holiday season. God has called us to support our fellow Mid-Southerners, by praying for them, giving to them and doing business with them wherever possible.
These next few months may determine the success or failure of many local businesses and charities. The November-December shopping and giving season will determine if the not-for-profit sectors make their budgets to continue their work in our community for another year. It will determine for many of our locally owned retailers and restaurants if they will actually earn a profit for the year. Imagine owning a store, going to work every day, paying employees, taxes and expenses monthly and not expecting to make a profit until the last two months of the year.
Imagine an organization such as For the Kingdom in Raleigh providing 5,000 meals weekly for at-risk children and seniors not knowing until the last two months of the year whether funds will be sufficient for them to provide those meals next year. Imagine Church Health providing daily medical services for the working poor or daily meals to the homeless on our streets, and not knowing until the last two months of the year whether the funds will be sufficient for them to continue serving them next year.
We in the City of Memphis are in a relationship with each other, and these relationships must be built and maintained for the good of all of us. The economic importance of building relationships with each other by shopping at locally owned businesses and supporting locally focused charities is essential to a community’s success. Covid has separated us from each other and drawn us closer together at the same time. We have fought the Pandemic together, we have lost loved ones, we have seen friends lose their jobs and businesses. God gives us the opportunity this holiday season to come together, put an end to the destructive influences of this Pandemic, and build on those things that have drawn us together by forgiving and praying for each other.
Doing business with our local merchants and donating to our local charities brings life and prosperity to the Mid-South. The encouragement of peace and prosperity is the mission of 4Memphis and something we are all called to embrace this holiday season.
Seek the Peace and Prosperity of Memphis.
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