Pastoral Crisis Intervention

Job 2:11-13 ESV11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

So..we see that Job’s friends were doing well at the beginning, until they opened their mouths! Any words will probably fall short when someone is grieving and dealing with the shock of loss. What do we do? How do we intervene? Oftentimes, just being there physically is enough. Chaplains will call this the “Ministry of Presence.” There are countless times when I have responded to a death or a person who was near death, and simply sat or stood with the family without saying anything, sometimes for hours. Military chaplains say that they are the visible reminder of the holy. So when we come into a room, and represent Yahweh, we are painting or translating the invisible, bringing heaven to earth. That’s what we are called to do, through our testimonies as individuals, and through Word & Sacrament when we are gathered for worship. Now, the Holy Spirit dwells in us all, but there is a give and take, or call and response when we are gathered for corporate worship. Christ gives us gifts, and we in turn recieve grace and forgiveness through his Body and Blood, and in Baptism. God meets us in our brokenness. He fills us, and we pour out that which we’ve recieved from encountering Christ through the Means of Grace: 2 Corinthians 4:7 Treasure in Jars of Clay “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” — although we are fragile vessels, and have our own struggles, God still gives us the treasure of His Presence, to be poured out on the world. When the Word of Christ is combined with water, Baptism becomes a powerful supernatural work of God. As we are immersed and sprinkled with physical water, our hearts and minds recieve the Baptism of the Spirit, and His living water. Since the Spirit has been given to us without measure, we can grow immeasurably in holiness and grace, and the light of Christ the Son will be reflected through our lives.

John 4:10-15 English Standard Version

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

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