God Pause for Monday, 6/23/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Monday, 6/23/2014 Reading: Jeremiah 28:5-9

Prophets move on collision courses. Most clergy tremble reading this text, realizing our own knees shake every time we tone down revelatory words making them more palatable for general consumption. Hananiah's revisionary work bore no resemblance to the truth. He sugar coated the Babylonian threat proclaiming a mirage of hope, but not the real thing! Hence Jeremiah asserted the prophetic shoe did not fit Hananiah, for "you made this people trust in a lie."

A seasoned pastor told me in my first years of ministry that crucifixion always precedes resurrection. I knew he was speaking the truth, but still, in those early years, I would have done anything to sidestep some of the crucifying moments that people were experiencing. It was terrifying to walk in the darkness. Now, looking back through the rear view mirror, the in-breaking of God's dawning moments can be seen. Stones that trapped people in exile have been rolled away. God's light continues to shine, and the darkness does not get the final word.

Gracious God, at some time along the way we all experience exile, both from others and even from our true selves rooted in you. Only you can restore us. Amen.

Steve Wigdahl Senior Pastor, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Naples, Fla. Master of Divinity, 1984

Jeremiah 28:5-9 (NRSV)

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, "Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfill the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7 But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8 The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet."

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