Good Afternoon To You All,
I trust you’re finding your life this week joyful and finding ways to enjoy the little things in life? I’ve enjoyed having things back to (mostly) normal in our house and getting back into a routine. I am enjoying our two little ladies and the very different ways in which they reflect the beauty of God’s creativity.
This coming Sunday we’re going to reflect on a text from a prophet out of the Hebrew (or Old) Testament, Jeremiah. After finishing up our series on Quaker testimonies it seems like a good time to look at what are some of the other “traditions” and texts we draw on as a community of faith.
When I read the Hebrew Bible I find myself asking: Why are the these the stories we continue to tell? How does this shape our understanding of who God is and who we are to be as God’s people?
Here are some of Jeremiah’s very colorful words from chapter 2.
“Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD:
What wrong did your ancestors find in me
that they went far from me,
and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? They did not say, “Where is the LORD
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us in the wilderness,
in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
in a land that no one passes through,
where no one lives?” I brought you into a plentiful land
to eat its fruits and its good things.
But when you entered you defiled my land,
and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, “Where is the LORD?”
Those who handle the law did not know me;
the rulers transgressed against me;
the prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after things that do not profit.
Therefore once more I accuse you,
says the LORD,
and I accuse your children’s children.
Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has ever been such a thing.
Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for something that does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
says the LORD, for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
that can hold no water. (Jer 2:4–13)
- What do you hear in this text?
- What does this text tell us about who God is?
- What does it tell us about who we are to be, and how we are to act as God’s people?
Do a little background research on the prophet Jeremiah. Who was he? What was his significance in the history of the Hebrew people? What is the core of his message and how did those who heard his sermons respond?