Photo and Commentary ©2023 by Shelley Schurch
Sunday, August 27, 2023

I think it was an honest question, but many of the responses veered off track. Way off track.

That often happens on our neighborhood app, which includes about 35 local neighborhoods and can be informative, entertaining, helpful, and infuriating. People post on all sorts of topics – lost and found pets, restaurant recommendations, job and volunteer opportunities, traffic issues, free items, suspicious activities, all manner of complaints and once in a while compliments.

The subject line that caught my eye this week was from a person who asked, “Jesus, are you still in business?”

This was in response to a handyman who had advertised his services. An individual had set up an appointment with him but he had not shown up that day and they could not reach him on the phone numbers he’d listed. His first name was Jesús.

But since the person reaching out to him did not type the accent over the “u” in his name, the question was a bit startling to read. For me, and for others.

A few people commented on how best to hire handymen, but the others veered off track by commenting on the “Jesus” angle. Someone responded that our Lord and King was always in business; someone else said He didn’t exist. Then people started responding to those responses, which is when I quit reading. I had had enough.

Because what I had was that question lingering in my mind, “Jesus, are you still in business?”

And that was enough to mull over the rest of the week. The question sounded like it could come from a contemporary version of one of the Psalms. So often in the Psalms of lament we hear questions like these:

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me? (Psalm 13:1 NKJV)

Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore? (Psalm 77:7-8 NKJV)

And Jesus, crying out in anguish from the cross, words from Psalm 22:1:

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

Fill in the blank: “Jesus, are you still __________?”

Are you still listening?
Are you still forgiving?
Are you still caring?
Are you still loving?
Are you still there?

Jesus, are you still in business – the “business” of being my Saviour and Best Friend?

The answer is Yes!

Even the desolate first words of Psalm 22 are followed by words such as:

You have answered Me. (verse 21)

He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. (verse 24)

And Psalm 22 is followed by Psalm 23, beloved for its description of the Lord as our Shepherd, who abundantly supplies all our needs, and leads us safely Home.

As we step into this brand-new week, we are assured that Jesus’ door is always open, as are His ears and arms. Wide open in welcome for us all.