Friday, March 27, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Tuesday Lenten Meditation, Jeremiah 25:15
March 24, 2015 Readings: Pss 121, 122, 123, Jer 25:8-17, Rom 10:1-13, John 9:18-41
Jer 25:15. Take from My hand this cup of the wine of wrath.
An episode in The Quest of the Holy Grail, a thirteenth-century work, insists that Holy Communion always contains a strong dose of Lent. When in The Quest Sir Lancelot approaches the Eucharistic cup, his body freezes up, paralyzed and senseless. With the chalice before him, he discovers that his sin has left him powerless. Due to sin, he finds himself unable to stir or speak.
In Jer. 25:15-17, Jeremiah travels the globe in a vision, serving God's chalice of wine to the nations. The wine makes earth lose control of its limbs, just like Sir Lancelot. Perhaps earth's nations indulge in the drinking willingly, eager, like pop singer Charli XCX, about "getting high and getting wrecked." They recklessly drain the powerful spirits down to the dregs! Jesus, in contrast, recoils from Jeremiah's bitter dregs. He holds life precious.
In Gethsemane Jesus prayed three times that Jeremiah's cup might somehow be drained in another way. He drank it nonetheless, knowing earth's peoples could scarcely endure the ordeal. We do now gratefully share the cup of remembrance at each Eucharist. We do so worthily, however, only through the strength of Christ's love for us. We drink with trepidation, humility, and a Lenten spirit.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
A New FaceBook Page for the New Book
I have bitten the bullet and gone ahead and given the new book its very own FaceBook Page. Apparently it is really important to do this to give a new book some hope of traction. If those reading this post could click the link and “Like” the new book’s “Page,” I would be very grateful: https://www.facebook.com/DeuteronomyCook
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Jeremiah 4:9-10, Lent 2015, March 5
Today’s Lections: Ps. 71, Jer. 4:9-10, 19-28, Rom. 2:12-24, John 5:19-29
Jeremiah is famous as "the weeping prophet" of the Scriptures; but what we often do not let sink in is the prophet's mirroring of God's broken heart, his representation of God's inner pain. Jeremiah's tears embody the weeping of God. In today's passage, it is not Jeremiah's human weeping that stands out, but the burning tears of God. Hold on -- a weeping God? Much older Christian thinking wants none of this. Tradition has affirmed the impassibility of God, the conviction that God is invulnerable, unmoved, and fully without emotion (pathos).
Jeremiah, however, does not know our tradition. Rather, he introduces us to our vulnerable God, who cries out over a people bent on doom: "My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!" (Jer 4:19). Jeremiah experiences viscerally -- within his own body, through his own heart's painful, throbbing constrictions-God's genuine, intense pathos at the judgment descending upon Israel. His guts have him doubled up, tearing him up. With his intense poetry here, the prophet pushes us to empathize with God's pain, to despise our sin's shameful, wrenching effect on God's throbbing heart. Jeremiah helps us see how very much God must love us, to experience such intense divine pathos in firmly chastising us. This is a powerful Lenten truth indeed!