October 31, 2018
My Bible reading these days is in Jeremiah. I have found myself giving thanks for the privilege of having comrades in ministry. I cannot relate to how lonely Jeremiah must have been.
Known as a prophet, today we would call Jeremiah a preacher. He had very little good news to share – most of it predicted a miserable future for the Israelites. They paid little or no attention to him, and when they did listen, they responded with rejection, rebellion and even persecution.
At one point, Jeremiah’s helper wrote down what Jeremiah said. The scroll was given to a rebellious king who sat by the fire listening as it was read and then cut it into pieces and threw it into the fire. Jeremiah had to do it all over again. They did not have computers that saved the information – it was all hand-written letter by letter. He must have been weary of his assignment.
Occasional statements of hope slip in as reminders that Creator God was not finished with His plan for Israel in the future. The immediate situation was without hope. Soon, Jerusalem would be conquered, the temple destroyed, the people carried away as captives and their joy in life only a memory.
As I consider life on Planet Earth, it is obvious that people are hurting. God is left out of the lives of many people and evil seems to be unstoppable. One could be discouraged and wonder if we are making a difference as we tell Jesus’ Story and try to be a light in this dark situation.
When I ponder all of this, I picture the people I work with, the church family I get to be a part of and the obvious evidence of followers of Jesus around the world, and I am encouraged. If Jeremiah could have known just a few like-minded people, he would have rejoiced.
Pastor Bill Ehmann