Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Jeremiah 8:4-12 speaks a piercing rebuke to the people of Jerusalem at Jeremiah’s time. In doing so it also condemns our modern Western society. The priests and other religious leaders had been speaking words of peace and comfort. Yet those words of peace and comfort were not adequate.
Verse 11 diagnoses the poor treatment given to God’s people. “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (ESV). Those in our world today who speak of peace and reconciliation are quick to condemn Christians as people who neglect justice, who engage in all sorts of abuse, and are essentially ignorant and boorish people interested only in worldly gain.
Time and again, these same people, the priestly class of the secular culture we live in, will insult Christianity in unknowing ways. Meanwhile they pursue policies which bring harm to the weakest in society. They seek to abort unborn people, saying they are unwanted. They try to affirm lifestyles which, even when greeted with encouragement, are tied to a far higher rate of depression, violence, and suicide than the lifestyles historically advocated by Christians. They try to create an unnatural separation between spirituality and physicality, thus damaging the essential unity of body and soul which makes for a whole person. They proclaim peace, blame others for interfering with peace, then proceed to cause physical harm to those who would disagree with them, destroying and stealing personal property in doing so.
This ought not to be. Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in the time of Jeremiah, partly as a result of false teaching of this type. The wounds in society were “healed lightly” and it resulted in their falling open, becoming infected, and risking the death of the society.
What does Jeremiah call us to do? Return to the truth. Turn from folly to seek the forgiveness that comes only from God in Christ. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Do not fall prey to false teachers. Trust in the Lord.
This is a difficult thing. We don’t know at present if we will be able to carry it off. But it is God’s call. God is waiting. Will we turn back to him? That’s what we were created to do.
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