Monday, August 12, 2013

Pentecost 13 C - Jeremiah 23:23-29

Jeremiah 23:23-29
The dreaming prophets were good at prophesying pleasantries to the people because the truth would not have been well received. Jeremiah didn't fit the profile of the prophet dream team because the Lord had placed him in the unenviable place of speaking truth to power and most of the time Jeremiah appeared to be the one God had forsaken. But while God may have appeared far off it was the people who were uninterested and disengaged from the God who had always remained near-by. Of course Jeremiah was vindicated when the bad news he proclaimed came true and the dreaming prophets and the people put to sleep by their lies woke to the nightmare of the Babylonian captivity. Not a happy story but then that’s why Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. So what lesson might we learn from a sad story? I suppose one possibility is to double down on the law and preach morality to avoid the wrath of a near-by hammer come down God. Another might be to bet the bank on the Gospel and preach the dream of a near-by God whose righteous fire doesn't really burn. But if you are a prophet of the Lutheran persuasion the truth is in the waking dream where the Law is not diminished and the Gospel is not neglected but working in concert they reveal the God far off come near in Christ Jesus. Which means we strive to preach and teach a moral life that takes sin seriously and at the same time recognize the only way one can be fully moral is to obey the law of love which always counts relationship with the sinner as the way one lives God’s dream.

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