Year of Scripture – 229 & 230

Readings for the next few days: 
Saturday, August 17:  Jeremiah 18 – 22  
Sunday, August 18: Jeremiah 23 – 25

I don’t know what it is about Jeremiah, but I am having the hardest time staying engaged and connected with these readings. Maybe it is the post vacation blues, or the exhaustion that seems to have set in now that all my travels are over for the Summer. Maybe it is the bleak message that Jeremiah has to share over and over again. Unfortunate, and truthful, this has been the closest that I’ve been to saying, “I’m done, gave it my best shot, time to move on.” Then I think, we’ve made it this far, we can do this . . . and so here we are.

While I lament, I try and recall what things may have been like for Jeremiah. Can you imagine having the calling to warn the people of Jerusalem time and time again that devastation and hardship is soon to come? Sound pretty depressing. Even as challenging as it has been to keep reading for the past week, the scale of Jeremiah’s task and calling come to life in verse 25:3, “For twenty-three years . . . I have spoken persistently to you.” Imagine . . . 23 years with one message, you have sinned, you will be punished, Jerusalem will be destroyed, but a remnant will carry on. There isn’t much joy in that (unless you are one of the lucky few as part of those who remain).

Even as Jeremiah speaks difficult words to hear, they have consequence, personally for him. Chapter 20:1-6 give us just a glimpse of his suffering as Jeremiah finds himself placed in the stocks near the Benjamin Gate. The shame! The example! Yet, it doesn’t deter Jeremiah from proclaiming the Word of God. Of course, Jeremiah’s suffering is nothing compared to what the Jesus experienced on the the Cross. Just as Jeremiah continued on, and Jesus went willingly, so to ought we to do the same. Suffer through (yes even the long somewhat boring readings) for the sake of the Gospel, so that we might be a living breathing message of the hope and love that is found in Christ.

Peace,
Pastor Bailey

Readings for the next few days: 
Monday, August 19:  Jeremiah 26 – 29
Tuesday, August 20:  Jeremiah 30 – 31
Wednesday, August 21: Jeremiah 32 – 34
Thursday, August 22: Jeremiah 35 – 37

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