Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jeremiah 17, continued (6 Epiphany, Year C)

Jeremiah 17

Let us continue with a few more thoughts on this Sunday's appointed reading (the sixth Sunday after Epiphany, Year C), Jeremiah 17:5-10. For my preceeding post on this text, click here. (Note that PamBG has added some neat remarks to the post in the "comments" section there.)

Yesterday, Dr. Jim West wrote a sort of "reverse version" of Jeremiah 17, adapted to soothe modern souls. To take a look, click here. At vv. 8-9 Jim speaks of how modern souls resist "authentic self awareness and a painful recognition [of being], above all else, quite sinful." Unlike modern people, however, the two testaments of the Bible along with the literature of the ancient world were keenly aware of the universal fallenness of humanity. Sharing this insight, Jeremiah 17:9 accounts for why so many of us choose a form of life destined for frustration.

Why do we seem to consciously choose to be like bushes in the desert, disconnected from God's waters of life? Why can't we see the world working the way God intends it, so that it is obvious to all of us that true joy comes only from rooting ourselves in God?

It must partially be because in our fallenness we have collectively thrown the world off kilter and gotten our hearts and minds "desperately sick." Thanks be to God that Jeremiah 17 shows us a vision of the world struggling to right itself, fighting to throw off disease and to come back into health. God's truth abideth still.


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