Wednesday 3 March 2021
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”
Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them ~ Jeremiah 18: 18-20.
The Scripture reading today asks us to realise that as followers of Christ we will likely face joys as well as difficulties on our journeying forward. Jeremiah 18 details the many who tried to bring Jeremiah down by plotting to do him harm or to kill him. This was certainly a reflection of how things were at that time when the kingdom of Judah was ending and the prophet Jeremiah, ministered there.
But, the people refused to listen to him. Instead they listened to false prophets and leaders who dared to speak for God and who proclaimed false truths about God’s will. Even as they listened to untruths and false statements, they shunned the one who dared to speak the truth of God. They persecuted and oppressed him, and he suffered at their hands for remaining true to his faith and for answering God’s call on his life.
This is real for people who have made the decision to follow Christ and answer God’s call. Although, it is not expected to be easy, there will be people who will insist on creating stumbling blocks and challenges. The journey when you are trying to be true to your calling and to live out your faith can be tough and thankless. While it was not expected that prophets would earn worldly honour or influence or prestige, this certainly did not mean that there would be no joy in life. Yes there is joy in actually answering the call, in carrying out God’s call, in being faithful followers of Christ. When the joy comes, good and pleasant life experiences will be added on to the journey.
“Change your heart, look around you
Change your heart, it will astound you” ~ The Korgis
Friends, may this Lenten season make a difference in our lives; and may we make a difference in and to other people’s lives ~ Amen.