Day 16 Sacred Season 2015
DAY 16. 24th June : His Word like fire : Jer 20:7-12: Rev Dr Robert Brennan
But if I say, âI will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,â his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot (Jeremiah 20:9 NIV)
Basis of Union Paragraph 1: they look for a continuing renewal in which God will use their common worship, witness and service to set forth the word of salvation for all people. To this end they declare their readiness
to go forward together in sole loyalty to Christ the living Head of the Church; they remain open to constant reform under his Word;
âItâll all end in tears!â was one of those sayings that Gran used to say. She usually referred to some shortsighted and usually dangerous act of youthful bravado or to indiscreet lovers. It is also a saying that could be considered Jeremiahâs motto. âIt will all end in tears.â Jeremiah certainly was not the most popular person of his time and the cynicism and bitterness generated by his rejection certainly taint his emotions and words in this passage.
He called Godâs people back to walking with God, at a time when they were absolutely sure that they were doing the best they could do in their rapidly changing society with its fluctuating economics and unstable politics. His people were sure that they could together discern the best and wisest way forward. They were sure by all the best wisdom of their culture that they could reimagine their world. They were sure they were right and this simple prophet was wrong. But, they were wrong. All too late, Jeremiah the despised prophet was remembered because the people experienced the consequences of their actions ending in tears.
The people and their leaders said, âWe know what is right. We are wise. We know wise people.â They acted on what they knew as best they could. If we examine the circumstances and the rapidly narrowing political options of the times, we would have to say that we too would be tempted to rely on what we know of the best wisdom and what we have learnt about Godâs desire for justice and love. But that is precisely the problem, that is we come to rely on what we know and have learnt rather than on who we are supposed to walk with. We come to rely on ourselves rather than on God. As Godâs people we are to walk with God rather than rely on what we know about God. It is a living relationship.
Jeremiahâs call to let go of everything material and walk close to God in obedience, made no sense to his contemporaries, confused and angered them. Nevertheless, events eventually proved him right. We live in a world where the best wisdom of the world and even of the church isolates the simple preachers call to repentance and joyful obedience. âIt is not sophisticated enough to deal with the changes of contemporary society!â In doing this we move to depend on what we know rather than on the person we are meant to know. Maybe the answer is not that we in some Neitzschean âwill to powerâ continue to try to shape our reality but to simply let the God whom we serve shape us as we listen, as we change our thinking at Godâs prompting and obey Godâs command and call on us. May we not wait a generation or three to discover that we should have listened to Jeremiah as his people did.
Prayer: Lord help us to hear your voice, to learn afresh to your voice in spite of our circumstances and to obey you. Let us hear the voice of Jeremiah among us, the voice simply calling us to follow and obey you, the voice that will not be stilled because it burns to the bones. May we too share in that call and remind each other to trust not in our own understanding but in the person of you our Lord and Saviour. Rev Rob
Pray for: a) Unitingworld partner – The Kiribati Protestant Church
b) Synod of Queensland c) Uniting Faith and Discipleship