11/1/20 – Hope, encouragement, and enlightenment

Posted on : Oct 30th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Sisters and Brothers,

As the elections near, how will we approach this time in history as people of faith?

Reflecting on the prophets of an ancient people, we can find nuggets of hope, encouragement, and enlightenment.

I am not sure if Jeremiah was a bullfrog, but he was a Major Prophet, according to our sacred text, the bible. A prophet is “one who speaks forth.” Biblically, it is the proclaimer and interpreter of divine revelation. [Greek-prophētēs is often synonymous with “seer,” or “inspired person.”] The difference between a major and minor prophet is how much they have to say!!! Good grief! I suspect this would be akin to long-winded preachers (30 minutes to an hour) and those that adhere to the 15-20-minute rule taught in seminary. All prophets have something to say. More importantly, the prophets of ancient times were either known as a prophet of wrath (or reproof) rebuking ill conduct and warned of its consequences (usually disasters) or a prophet of consolation, comforting the people after a disaster.

Jeremiah was a complex and complicated Israelite priest. Even though he grew up in a pious Hebrew home and had the finest religious traditions that informed his intellectual, moral, and spiritual inheritance, he was a troubled countryman and townsman. He knew his community well. Jeremiah was out and about in his community. He appreciated nature as he observed farmers in the fields and he paid attention to children playing in the streets, and potters at work. Yes, Jeremiah was community oriented and his community engagement included speaking out against debt and debt collectors, along with the humiliation of thieves when apprehended.

Jeremiah was not perfect; on the contrary. Regardless of his shortcomings he reluctantly said “yes” to God to be the mouthpiece of the Lord. The 8th chapter of Jeremiah focuses on weeping, mourning and lamentations. The people claim to have wisdom, yet they reject the words of that wisdom.

During this election season, you and I have and will continue to witness smart, educated and intelligent sisters and brothers claiming to have wisdom in regards to our elected officials, policies and legislature that impacts all of us on some level. Yet their actions do not speak of wisdom but of withdrawal from reality.

There is a whitewashing of truth with false words of well being by religious and political leaders. We seek peace and healing but too often we find the opposite. In our text, the prophet mourns for the people and ask the question: “Is there no healing in Gilead?”

The gift of choice was given to every one of us when we were created in the image of the Divine. We get to choose how we will respond as people of faith on November 3rd and there-after. Will we choose to be healers of the earth? Healers of our communities? Healers within our families? Regardless of the outcome-remember, our country is deeply divided. Families have been torn apart because of religious and political differences. If we are the hands and feet of Christ in the world, are we not called to be healers in such a time as this?

See you Sunday-Communion Sunday!

Pastor Janice

 

Jeremiah 8:20-22-New International Version

“The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.”

Since my people are crushed, I am crushed;
I mourn, and horror grips me.
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no healing
for the wound of my people?

 

 

WeHo UCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: WeHo UCC’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Nov 1, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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