Good morning friends and happy Friday! Just a reminder that we are going to have another Reading the Bible live session Monday night at 6pm. We hope that you are able to join us as this will be a very special night. Keeping it secret why till then though ;)
As for today's reading we are turning to the final chapters of Jeremiah at this point and they are an odd mixture of "EVERYTHING WILL BURN MWUHAHAHA" and "There is hope for us!" But I suppose that's often the case with any tragedy or trauma we face, a mixture of pain and healing, despair and hope, etc. I'll share some more thoughts below but for now let's read!
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 does this reveal to me about God's positioning and involvement during tragedy, trauma, and other pains I experience?
- My Thoughts -
So I'm being a bit of a cop out on this one but I'm choosing to focus my reflections on the very opening paragraph of this section. I didn't necessarily tune out the "messages of disaster to random countries" section like I did yesterday, but rather I find the opening section about Baruch to be the one with the most thought provoking scenario. Let's recap it first: Baruch is lamenting to God saying "I'm exhausted and worn out from all you've asked me to do. I want relief" God retorts back to Baruch saying "Don't chase pleasures and worldly goods for that will be destroyed, but I vow to give you life wherever you go."
For a materialistic culture driven by the allure of the American Dream this really spoke to me. We want bigger homes, more luxurious cars, maxed out Roth IRA's, fancy gadgets. We long to tell the story of how we struggled in our twenties so that we could finally thrive and enjoy our life in our sixties. The grit of that story is empowering and inspiring, but is it the way that God wants us to live? Did God give us ~70 years of life to only really enjoy it for ten years or so after retire and are finally debt free? Or are the systems and traditions we reinforce and participate in antithetical to the way that God wants us to live? (This is not rhetorical I'm genuinely asking myself this.)
When I consider for myself what "really living" feels like, or the gift of "life" as God says to Baruch, it's most often the memories I have being with the people I love most, or a particularly memorable race and all the training that went into it, or a cross country ride with my friend. In other words, experiences fill my "life bank" while gadgets and objects only drain my literal bank. I say this writing it down, but still struggle with this every day wanting more, more, more. The what I want more of is life, the life that God says He will provide to Baruch and by extension you and I. So, I hope as things begin to reopen I will find more life in the days to come.
Our prayer today is inspired by hymn 180 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Jesus Es Mi Rey Soberano (Oh Jesus, My King and My Sovereign) International hymns are a great way to praise like the apostles did when the Holy Spirit first fell on them speaking tongues not native to their own. While it might feel difficult to understand a hymn in which you don't know what you are saying you can no doubt feel it still. Not to mention it's often unique tunes that we don't often sing other hymns too. I hope you'll take a moment to meditate as you listen, hum, sing, or recite the lyrics beneath the video as you make the words you prayer today.
Ok ya'll seriously listen to this song. It sounds like an old time romance / love sonnet. absolutely stunning.
Jesús es mi Rey soberano Mi gozo es cantar su loor Es Rey, y me ve cual hermano Es Rey y me brinda su amor Dejando su trono de gloria Me vino a sacar de la escoria Y yo soy feliz Y yo soy feliz con Él
Jesús es mi amigo anhelado Y en sombras o en luz siempre está Paciente y humilde a mi lado Consuelo y alivio me da Por eso contento le sigo Porque Él es mi Rey y mi amigo Y yo soy feliz Y yo soy feliz con Él
Señor, ¿qué pudiera yo darte Por tanta bondad para mí? ¿Me basta servirte y amarte? ¿Es todo entregarme yo a ti? Entonces acepta mi vida Que a Ti solo queda rendida Y yo soy feliz Y yo soy feliz con Él