We live in a broken world. All over the globe people suffer from conflict, disease, natural disasters, exploitation, bigotry, and injustice. We witness these struggles up close, in our communities, in the lives of our loved ones, and even in our own experiences. In the face of such difficulty, we seek comfort and security wherever we can find it.
One place where we might find comfort and security is in the stories of those who came before us. Our faith and our holy scriptures are full of generations of God’s people who have suffered and struggled through agonizing ordeals, exile and enslavement, famine and war, and who have wavered in their faithfulness to God, as we ourselves might do in our most difficult moments. It can be hard to believe in God’s goodness and mercy when our world and our own lives seem to be devoid of those gifts of a loving Creator.
In this passage, Jeremiah is reflecting on his people’s suffering. He is crying out to God, weeping tears for the slain. It is clear that Jeremiah is striving to maintain faith in God in the midst of a broken world. He questions when—or even if—his people will be healed and delivered. But the fact that he brings those questions to God shows that he still believes that God is listening.
We know that God was always faithful to God’s people. And knowing these stories, knowing this history, we can trust that God is also always faithful to us. We can learn from Jeremiah and hold on to our knowledge that God is good, merciful, present, and listening, even in the midst of struggle.
God, thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives and world. Help me to remember the signs of your faithfulness in my own life and experience. Amen.
Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet,” grieves for the plight of his people. They have provoked God’s judgment by following foreign gods, and now there is no comfort to be found. The psalmist cries out to God from a similar situation of despair. Foreign nations have overrun the land, destroyed Jerusalem, and killed many of its people. The psalmist cries out to God for compassion and restoration. The author of First Timothy gives his readers two commands. They should pray for and honor their leaders, and they should be faithful to the one true God, with whom they have a relationship through Christ Jesus. Jesus in Luke tells a strange parable about a dishonest manager who is commended for his shrewd business sense, but Jesus turns his story into a teaching about good stewardship.
Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. When have you called out to God in distress?
Read Psalm 79:1-9. As you search for solutions to life’s problems, how do you demonstrate God’s call to love and to justice?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. How do you pray for your local, state or province, and national leaders with whom you agree? with whom you disagree?
Read Luke 16:1-13. How do you negotiate the complexities of Jesus’ call to be a good steward of your resources as you work to serve God rather than money?
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