Job is probably not the first person that comes to mind as we enter into the Christmas season. Although scholars are quick to point out many similarities between the blameless and upright nature of Job and his innocent suffering to that of Christ. This painting, still wet, is also probably not the traditional portrayal of Job that you have seen either.
The most prominent verse in Job that resonates deeply with me is, "I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." At the end of Job's narrative we don't hear God tell him why he suffered or hear God explain himself. Job was given something greater than answers - something that very few people have received. Job was given the gift of seeing God with his own eyes.
It's hard for me to envision what that encounter would have been like - to be fully present with God. Face to face. That is the moment I wanted to bring to life here. Even in the midst of the most unimaginable suffering, what would it look like to behold the fullness of God?
This Christmas as we gather together and celebrate the birth of Jesus, we are celebrating the moment of encounter that changed everything. When heaven came down to earth. The Bible says that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God so I imagine the faces of all who were present at the birth of Christ to be like that of Job as they beheld the savior of the world. Immanuel - God with us.
"Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is."