Tuesday, January 16, 2007

State of the Union: are we okay, America?

...Yet in spite of all this you say, 'I am innocent;
he is not angry with me.'
But I will pass judgment on you
because you say, 'I have not sinned.'

- Jeremiah 2:34, 35

Reading the prophets scares me. It concerns me personally, but it particularly worries me when I consider our nation.


Ρωμανος ~ Romanós said...

This year I am reading the prophets, I should say, studying them, and praying them, intensely. What they say has always scared the people in power, whether in state or church, or in the individual who thinks he or she is in power.

Our power-loving, self-indulgent, abundance-oriented, workaholic-titheaholic, affirmation-spouting, glamorous Christian church in America should really be scared, reading the prophets.

This happened to me in church.

The senior pastor (senior in appointment, not in age, wisdom or philanthropy) at my church two weeks ago "preached" a rah-rah! you're a great community! "sermon" to encourage his flock to strive for unity, so that we can have a successful centennial splash (this year is the 100th anniversary of our congregation). When I determined, after listening for a few minutes, that this was another example of his fine oratorical skills and not a real sermon, I did what I usually do—I put my right thumb in my right (hearing) ear, and randomly opened my bible in my lap, and sunk my face into it, and guess where I randomly landed? Jeremiah, chapter 23! As I read the words of God's holy prophet, they seemed to be flowing parallel to the pastor's rhetoric, only speaking the Truth in contradiction to what he was saying. It was remarkable! I wish I could go verse by verse and compare Jeremiah's words to the pastor's, for contrast, but unfortunately it was the experience of a moment. And oddly enough, because I often read and reread a verse until it clicked, my reading of that chapter coincided with the end of the oration.

Anyway, back to the prophets.
Yes, let's study them and stick to their words and let their words adhere to us, helping us make the right choices in this "acceptable year of the Lord."

Ben said...

The most profound words in the Bible (in terms of their influence on my thinking) come from Lamentations, also written by Jeremiah, especially chapter 3. If this is all gonna crumble someday (and of course it will....nothing is forever in this world), then there's no greater comfort than the wisdom and solace the prophet found in the midst of destruction and despair.