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Reading the Bible Day 171

Good morning friends and welcome to another day of reading the Bible together! :D Today we continue on in our reading of Jeremiah. While I certainly have some thoughts on this (below) I don't want to tease those out yet so you have an organic reading experience. What themes do you see present as you read? God speaks a great deal in this section - what is God speaking about the most?


Scripture to Read


Jeremiah 10 - 13

Psalm 16


Audio Bible



Scripture to Consider

  1. What does this teach me about God?

  2. What does this teach me about humanity?

  3. What does this teach me about the role of the prophet and how they speak for God?

- My Thoughts -

At our last reading the Bible live session Gary brought up the question of whether God actually felt this wrathful way about hte people or whether this was an interpretation from the prophet. I think today's reading is another clue that even when it says "the lord God says" that it's still the prophets re-telling of God's words. I say this because of the extreme difference in tone that God has for Jeremiah than he does for the people. In Jeremiah's prayer to God in the opening chapter he says "treat me kindly God for I cannot take your wrath" and then turns around and says to the people "you're all doomed!"


This is a danger that happens when we elevate pastors, clergy, or other spiritual leaders onto a "holier than thou" pedestal. Of course, pastors are supposed to model ideal Christian living, but are are humans, and by being human we cannot be ideal. We have bad days, we experience stress, we like affirmation, and so on and so forth. But too much affirmation and too much branding on clergy and we develop our own god-complex. You see this in extreme examples such as the cult leaders, but it also exists in the examples of clergy that get caught up in some bad acts. Each time it does it creates another fracture in the wall of our societal expectations of clergy and moves them further down the list of trustworthy professions.


However, I believe this only happens because we as a culture have elevated clergy from the beginning that when they fall they make a bigger splash. Churches certainly don't help it by adorning their clergy in $5,000 robes, jewels, and other ridiculous benefits and having these over the top ordination ceremonies. Jeremiah's words are a reminder to clergy and lay alike that we are just people. Our sermons are just (informed) opinions, and our moods swing like any other. I think when we see pastors less as "preachers of God's sacred word" and more so "storytellers of the gospel" it helps set our expectations appropriately. So clergy, let your hair down, dress down, look like the people who come to your church and just talk about why you love Jesus. Approachability is the best asset of any pastor. And Jeremiah, shut up, you're getting the same wrath from God that the people do ya weenie. See ya'll tomorrow.


Prayer


Our prayer today is inspired by hymn 171 in our United Methodist Hymnal - There's Something About That Name. Dang, two good hymns in a row! This is awesome. I invite you to hum, sing, or recite the words as you make this beloved hymn your own.



Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there's just something about that name.

Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain;

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,

But there's something about that name.

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,

But there's something about that name.



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