Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Letters to a people in Exile

One of the themes of the Bible is exile.  Living as strangers in a strange land.

Jeremiah's message is a word of reassurance to the people who are in exile. (Jeremiah 30: 12-22)  It begins with a reading of reality -" your hurt is incurable and your wound is grievous." And I sit and marvel at the poetry of this text.  Walter Brueggemann has a wonderful book called Finally Comes the Poet and in it he writes about the power of poetry.  And in it he says that it is the poet who is able to get past our numbness so that we might be able to see and feel and respond.

What I find myself pondering this morning is the reality that we - as followers of Jesus - are living in exile but often we pretend we are not.  I wonder if  we try to fit in to the life and the values of this culture.  I wonder if we become used to and participate in  the violence, the competition, the consumerism, the superficial pleasures of this world and miss much of what God is doing and wants to do with us.

And so the prophet, the poet, the Psalmist, the Savior comes to awaken us to the reality of our God who wants to be in relationship with us.  This relationship makes us aware of his presence, our sin and brokenness, his call, his grace.  Here is what Brueggemann writes 

We can hardly endure the strange juxtaposition and sovereignty and grace: the sovereign one who is shockingly gracious, the gracious one who is stunningly sovereign.  The shock of such a partner destabilizes us too much.  The risk is too great, the discomfort so demanding.  We much prefer to settle for a less demanding, less overwhelming meeting.  yet we are haunted by the awareness that only this overwhelming meeting gives life."

This morning I just want to ponder some of the words of the text and allow them to soak in and see what they bring to me today.

And you shall be my people, and I will be your God  (Jer 30:22)

Psalm 30
O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the people.

Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.

John 12

While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light

May this be a day of in which I experience that "overwhelming meeting  with  God of love and grace and judgement and mercy.  May I be awake and aware and walk in the light.


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