Jeremiah: Example, not Excuse
Originally posted at: https://anglicansforlife.org/2020/06/22/jeremiah-example-not-excuse/
Editor’s Note: Throughout the summer, we are thrilled to be able to reintroduce to you a number of Life Lectionary lessons we’ve gathered over the past few years. You can look for these passages and teachings that affirm and celebrate life biweekly.
As I read this passage in Jeremiah 20:7-13, I began to identify with Jeremiah’s feelings as he agonized over the message he must deliver and prayed for those who refused to respond to the truth. I believe Jeremiah was reflecting the character of God himself in the unfolding drama of Gods love affair with His creation.
We can also look to Jesus agony in the Garden of Gethsemane in (Matthew 26:36-46) as testimony to Gods unfailing love as revealed in John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Throughout his life, Jeremiah stood alone, declaring Gods messages of doom, announcing the new covenant, and weeping over the fate of his beloved country. Jeremiah felt firsthand God’s love for his people and the people’s rejection of that love.
In [this] scripture, Jeremiah cries out in despair mixed with praise, unburdening his heart to God. When he withheld God’s word for a while, it became fire in his bones until he could hold it back no longer. If someone with such intimate awareness of God’s presence struggled with insecurity, we ought not to be surprised over our own failures and weaknesses.
Jeremiah doesn’t give us an excuse but rather an example. No matter how we may feel about ourselves at any moment, God remains unchanged, loving, and present in our lives. Many in our congregation know things about Jesus Christ, but they don’t know Jesus the Person. When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though this life is all we have, resulting in the aborting of babies in the womb or assisting in the death of the elderly.
In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity where there is no death, sickness, enemy, evil, or sin. Today’s news headlines are filled with the innocent slaughter of children throughout the worlds major cities by the bombs, guns, knives, and even motor vehicles of terrorists acting in the name of false religion and false gods.
I believe God is calling each of us to proclaim the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no matter the cost to us or our families, and to follow the example of Jeremiah despite our current circumstances.
Written By: The Rev. Ron McKeon (Deceased)