Happy Sunday friends! I've given Jeremiah (and other prophetic texts) a tough time lately calling them doom and gloom and whatnot, but I think today's reading is a great representation of what lent is all about. It's a strong mixture of repentance, promise of deliverance, and discipline. That's in many ways the same calling that Christ has for us each Lent! Will you accept that invitation and follow him this year? A great place to start is by tuning into worship and the subsequent discussion time with the pastors. Visit www.chagrinfallsumc.org/lent for all details. Till then, let's read Jeremiah's words!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this teach me about the relationship between the two?
What is the role of the prophet? How is Jesus a different prophet than Jeremiah? How is he the same?
- My Thoughts -
This is the first day to make me say "ohhh now I get why Jeremiah is considered a prophet of the exile and not before" as he directly mentions Micah, a previous prophet we've read, and later goes on to comment on other unnamed prophets who came before preaching disaster, disease, and doom. It's odd to think that a prophet that preaches peace is the one not from God, but I suppose the times were a little bleaker then! Another example I saw of Jeremiah being a prophet of the exile and not before/after like others is when he mentions that the people are to settle in, to plant gardens, to make families and otherwise make the best of a crappy situation. Further, this is more evidence of false prophets taking advantage of the situation to give false hope. While I already shared my thoughts on modern false prophets I admit to having a great deal of sympathy for the false prophets of this day. The people are clearly eager for things to be back to normal, the text gives us enough clues that the people were depressed, angry, probably distrustful of one another, and hopeless. These false prophets were trying to insert a little positivity into the picture, or to try and keep morale going, but that is quite the opposite of what the people needed, at least according to God. What kind of message does that say for us today? In regards to COVID and how long it has screwed up our days, do you find healing or discomfort in Jeremiah saying "settle in"?
Our prayer today is inspired by hymn 175 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee. I invite you to meditate as you listen, hum, sing, or recite the lyrics as you make them your own in prayer. As usual, the lyrics are found beneath the video.
1 Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills the breast; but sweeter far thy face to see, and in thy presence rest.
2 O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek, to those who fall, how kind thou art! How good to those who seek!
3 But what to those who find? Ah, this nor tongue nor pen can show; the love of Jesus, what it is, none but his loved ones know.
4 Jesus, our only joy be thou, as thou our prize wilt be; Jesus, be thou our glory now, and through eternity.