May 31, 2011

Wednesday after Rogation Sunday

Lectionary

Ps. 144, Jer. 14:1-9, 1 Jn. 5:5-15
Ps. 93, 99, Hosea 9:1-7, Lk. 24:44

Commentary

Yesterday's reading in Deuteronomy was a call for obedience and a promise of blessings. Today's reading in Jeremiah is a prayer for deliverance from the wages of sin. In Jeremiah, Israel has entirely deserted the Covenant of God. Every kind of evil flourished in Israel as the people turned from God and embraced the self-indulgent paganism around them. Everything God warned them to avoid, they embraced. Everything God told them to do, they rejected. But most of all, they rejected God. Many still went through the motions of serving God. They kept the services and ceremonies of the Covenant, but they would not keep God in their hearts.

So, all the blessings of the Covenant have been taken from them. Instead of the rains, God gave them drought. Instead of plenty, God gave them scarcity. Instead of God, God gave them spiritual emptiness and drought. Clearly God is willing to punish sinners. This is true of individuals and churches. But it is also true that God hears the prayers of those who repent. May God "leave us not."

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