When ungodly leaders rule, the results can be devastating. We all suffer when our political and spiritual leaders fail to lead, support, strengthen, and govern in a way that protects all of us. In the midst of societal suffering we ask, Does anyone care? What can we do? I am only one vote, only one voice. Who will hold our leaders, spiritual and political, accountable for the good of all?
The people of Judah raise similar questions as they cry out to God about the mistreatment they receive from the ungodly kings ruling their nation. In response to their cries, God commissions the prophet Jeremiah to speak. “Woe,” says Jeremiah, as he exclaims the pain of the people, the problem, and the pain to be inflicted upon the ungodly as God’s response to the cries of God’s people.
The prophet declares: God will deal with and visit those who have not cared for and visited God’s people. God’s message reassures us that God will raise up good shepherds and leaders to guide and care for God’s people in response to their present pain. Those who have been scattered due to corruption will be gathered again and will be fruitful and multiply.
Enabled by God, the prophet speaks to the people’s present and future suffering. Jeremiah declares that the days are coming when God will raise up a righteous one, who will be called “The Lord is our Righteousness.” This coming King will deal wisely and execute justice and righteousness in the land.
The reign of Christ promises us a future filled with possibilities greater than any present paralyzing pain. During this reign, all God’s people will live in safety.
Lord, enable us to serve, live, and love in ways that manifest your kingdom in our homes, churches, cities, and communities. We pray for godly leaders who follow and manifest your rule and reign each day. Amen.
Our readings for the week highlight the Reign of Christ. Jeremiah prophesies about a future King from the line of David who will bring justice, righteousness, and security for the people of God. Luke 1 records the song of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Zechariah praises God for raising up salvation from the house of David as God had promised through the prophets. This child will bring mercy, forgiveness, and light. Luke 23 recounts part of the story of the death of Jesus. Here Jesus, the Light of the world, dies as an act of mercy for our forgiveness. In Colossians, Christ holds first place above everything else. Through his death we are forgiven and brought from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
Read Jeremiah 23:1-6. How do you trust in God’s promises to bring safety and justice as you watch unjust rulers oppress and abandon their followers?
Read Luke 1:68-79. What will you say when you break your silence?
Read Colossians 1:11-20. Recall a time when you waited for something in great anticipation. How did your faith help you find patience?
Read Luke 23:33-43. How do you recognize Christ as King when you experience or witness suffering?
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