When I arrived at work my first day back after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I was saddened to learn about the death of Bishop Rueben P. Job, one of our authors. Rueben Job was the author of the Guide to Prayer series and a great contributor to (perhaps even the initiator of) spiritual formation in The United Methodist Church and beyond. From everything I’ve heard and read, he was an inspiration to all who knew him. Rueben’s keen wit, sensitive heart, and intellectual vigor will be greatly missed.
As an editor in Upper Room Books, I had the privilege of working with Rueben on a limited basis. My first encounter with him came through e-mail. A Baptist at the time, I didn’t understand the structure of The United Methodist Church and felt unsure how to address him. I believe I opened my e-mail with a rather lame joke, greeting him as Bishop Job and saying something like, “I bow before you.”
He replied, “Please call me Rueben. You may kiss my ring.” That set the stage for some humorous e-mail exchanges. Rueben exhibited a delightful sense of humor. He was also humble and Christlike in his encounters with me. I met him in person just a few years ago when I joined Belmont United Methodist Church, the church he attended.
Rueben and his friend Norman Shawchuck, a pastor and professor, wrote A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, published by Upper Room Books in 1981. While it was a best seller among ministers, many laypeople also embraced this volume. A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People soon followed, then A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God. The last book in the series, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, with Norman Shawchuck and John S. Mogabgab, was Rueben’s final contribution to the series.
Upper Room Books is honored to have published these resources along with Job’s contribution to volume 1 of the Companions in Christ series. We will miss Bishop Job and feel reassured that the bells of heaven are ringing, announcing his arrival into God’s eternal kingdom.
Originally posted on the Upper Room Books website.