Jeremiah comes to us from the time just before Jerusalem falls at the hands of the Babylonians. As opposed to the simple sheep herder Amos, a person on the margins to whom God reveals a prophetic word to take to the center of power, Jeremiah is a prophet already living in the king’s court. Meaning Jeremiah finds himself in the precarious position of serving at the pleasure of the worldly king while being called to speak the unvarnished truth of the Almighty God.
Doubly risky is the message he is called to deliver! God calls him to outline the failings of the people and the king in the hopes that they will repent and change their ways before it is too late. Emphasis on “in the hopes,” for God speaks of this plan in rather indefinite terms:
Write down this message and deliver it to them, God says. It may be that when they hear what I intend to do to them, they’ll change their evil ways.
It may be?! We expect the God who spoke creation into being to speak with a little more authority.
Is it alarming that God seems to be making up this plan for reconciliation as God goes? Or is it disarming that throughout Scripture, God always seems to be looking for ways to give us another chance? Is it empowering to know that we have an active role to play in our own salvation? Or is that the alarming part?
What is the one thing I most ask of God that I could do for myself?
God of hope, help me to partner with you in the renewing of this world this day. Amen.