I apologize for the lateness of this post but the head cold I got over this past weekend has been a doozy. The last two night have been hard to get some good sleep but I am just happy I have been able to get some rest. As I look at the text for this coming week, my groggy eyes are drawn to chapter 7 verses 8-11.
Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, "We are safe!"—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord.
As we have been marching through the Bible thanks to the help of the narrative lectionary, we have seen time and time again that the people of Israel forgot what it means to live under God's covenant. They turn to ways of hurting themselves and each other. They take the easy way out. This past Sunday, we talked about the hard road of peace. It is a lot easier to discount people and to simply ignore them than to actually treat other people with the same dignity we give our trusted family and friends.
This Thursday, is Thanksgiving, which is a time of family get togethers. For a lot of people this is a very fun time of the year, but for a lot of people it is a time of various bad family dynamics. There is a family member who makes your skin crawl or who always seems to push all your buttons. It can make the holidays very hard to enjoy let alone tolerate. However, God asks us to walk the walk of our faith especially around circumstances like this. How would it look like if you engaged this relative or friend in the language of peace? What if you took some time to listen to what they are saying? Note I am not saying you have to agree with what they are talking about. What if you gave yourself permission not to fall into those arguments that drives you nuts? The language of peace is for both us and the people we have a relationship with by setting boundaries, about what we can and will not do.
The Jeremiah text today is reminding us that following God's path for us isn't easy and that it takes work. However when we do this, when we practice what we preach, amazing things happen. Peace can come to us and to our Thanksgiving's gathering. I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!