Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A copy of the story "Job"

Preparation for Activity

  • Review and print out the story.

Description of Activity

Read or tell the story. Invite responses. Ask if anyone has ever had a day when all bad and no good things happened to them. Allow a few brief stories. Point out that the Job story is remarkable not for what happens to Job, but how he reacts.

Ask:

How does the story of Job answer today's Big Question, "Why do bad things happen?"

Why did bad things happen to Job? (God and Satan made the bad things happen as a sort of a game or test, not even as a punishment.)

What does the story say about why good things happen?

Point out that God is powerful in this story. Although God sometimes acts at the suggestion of Satan, God ultimately controls what happens to Job. Ask, do you think God controls what Job thinks and does?

Point out that Job has free will in the story. He can think and do what he wants. He keeps praising God, although he could have chosen to curse God or stop believing in God at all. Ask the youth if they think they have free will; ask for some examples. Can free will stop bad things from happening?

Ask if the idea of free will reminds them of a philosophy the youth have heard about in Riddle and Mystery. Point out, if they do not, that Humanists think free will is very important. Humanists believe people have the ability to act and speak as they want to and cause good or bad things to happen. The story of Job is not a Humanist story; it has God and Satan in it. However, the story does rest on the idea that humans have free will.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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