December 15, 2011

Friday after the Third Sunday in Advent

Lectionary

Morning - Ps. 40, Jer. 23:23-32, 2 Cor. 5:5
Evening - Ps. 51, Jer. 26:1-15, 2 Tim. 3:14-4:8

Commentary
Jeremiah 23:23-32

Today, the second of the seasonal Ember Days, leads us into a reading from Jeremiah that should arrest our attention. The passage concerns people who took it upon themselves to speak for God, but, rather than speaking the truth, they spoke their own ideas. They claimed to have the inspiration of God. "I have dreamed" they said, meaning to have received a vision from God with a message for His people. But they spoke lies (26) because their dreams were false (32). They may have truly believed what they were saying, but it was not from God. No minister in any church, no person in any church has any right to teach anything but that which is in agreement with the revelation of God in Scripture. This is so evident in the Bible that it is apparent to even the most casual reader.

But something in this passage expresses why such people have this problem. It is a single word found in Jeremiah 23:32, "lightness." They have counted the truth of God, and God Himself, as lightness. Living for Him is not something they take seriously. Understanding His revelation is not something they take seriously. Preaching and teaching and shepherding the flock are not things they take seriously. They have a casualness about the things of God.

This is just as true of people in our own time as it was in Jeremiah's day, and it is just as great a sin now as it was them. The things of God are weighty matters. There are no trivialities in God, everything about Him and His word to us is of eternal significance. Let those who minister in His name do so in the realisation that they deal in weighty matters, and the let the people attend to the words of faithful teachers as though they are hearing things of weighty importance.

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