Saturday, March 6th
As I reflect on Jeremiah’s prophesy, I’m struck by how timeless his admonitions are for us. I imagine the people of Judah 2600+ years ago were going about their business, consumed by the issues, responsibilities, jealousies, concerns and activities of their day. Jeremiah calls them out: “foolish and senseless people” who have “stubborn and rebellious hearts.”
As I sat with these words, my thoughts kept returning to the sin of pride. Whether thousands or years ago or today, it’s just too easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have it all figured out. Blinded by pride, we don’t notice how far we’ve drifted from God’s ways or His desires for us and the world. Jeremiah cites plenty of examples to show the people of Judah how they’re totally, yet self-righteously, missing the mark. Short of a modern-day Jeremiah arriving in our midst to prophesy, how are we to recognize when our pride is leading us astray?
I think verse 21 is a good place to start: unlike the people Jeremiah is rebuking, we need to open our eyes to actually see and ears to actually hear. We have to remove the filter pride puts between us and reality so we can hear and see what’s really happening instead of what we want to, or expect to, see and hear. Critically assessing our own senses and thinking is a pretty big challenge, but we also have a big advantage over the people of Judah. We have the example and teachings of Jesus Christ to guide us. I’m struck by those occasions that I’ve heard a scripture reading that I’ve heard many times before, but I seem to hear it in a different way.
Maybe I hear it differently because I’m in a different place in my life, or maybe it’s because the world has changed since the last time I heard it, or maybe it’s because, thanks to the Holy Spirit, I’m listening with fully-open ears. I’m making it my goal this Lent to open myself to hear things differently, not just the scriptures but teachings, sermons and the reflections of fellow parishioners as we endeavor to live the life God wants for us, our church, our community and the world.