In late summer and early fall of this, year C of the Revised Common Lectionary, the book of Jeremiah is used for the Sunday Old Testament lessons. But why wait until then? We’re starting a new Bible study tomorrow, and guess who’s the guest of honor? The weeping prophet himself.
Jeremiah did not have an easy life. He lived at a time when Judah was threatened from within—by rampant corruption and decadence—and from without—the seemingly inevitable invasion by the Babylonian Empire. He was frequently misunderstood and maligned. He had multiple arrests and was accused of treason. All of this tore at him, because he truly loved his fellow Judahites.
But the greatest love/hate relationship was with the God who called him and promised to make him “a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land” (1:18). How nice! Everyone’s dream job includes having to be a fortress to fend off the attacks of one’s neighbors!
The image is “Prophet Jeremiah” by Marc Chagall.