Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today’s text

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfill the promise of happiness I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah: In those days and at that time, I shall make an upright Branch grow for David, who will do what is just and upright in the country. In those days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name the city will be called: Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice."


May the day come soon.

I understand why those who first heard Jeremiah’s words hungered for victory and safety. They lived under the heel of bitter oppression. Past ravages by sworn enemies put their fears on hair-trigger alert. It was a terrible way to live, always watching, anxiously anticipating the worst.

They wanted triumph, even revenge on the oppressor. I understand the urge, even as I reject it because it only creates more of the same. The ugly cycle of oppression, struggle, restoration and renewed oppression constantly repeats itself in human history and in our own personal histories.

The struggle draws the best and worst from our souls. The beauty of those who sacrifice for the liberation of others moves tears at the human capacity to give. But the tendency of the liberated to oppress once they have power moves astonishment at our forgetful idiocy: “How quickly we forget. Will we ever learn?”

So the prophet’s words do not move hunger for triumph over enemies far or near, Holy One. There is no blood lust in my soul these days, only sad longing for the day you promise, a day when you will be our saving justice.

So come and save us from ourselves. Save us from our angers, our myopic self-interest, our need to be right, our denunciations of others, our bitterness over slights and rejections and especially our failure to feel in our bones that that all of life, all of humanity, is one intricately connected family.

Transform our hearts so that we t know that the Love you are is life’s only justice, intended for all. May our hearts hunger for your justice and become your salvation, ending the ugly cycle that runs through all history and the depth of our hearts.

Save us from ourselves that we may become as you are.

Pr. David L. Miller

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