Monday, November 27
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
God called Jeremiah to be God's prophet. Like any good prophet called by God, Jeremiah protested. "I can't!" Jeremiah's excuse was his youth. He was too young to speak for God. Given the nature of the message (a condemnation of Israel’s sin), his reluctance was understandable.
In my house, we call this Leetch BS. It's when someone is asked to do something, and they come up with a reason why they can't do it, so quickly, and so convincingly, it's almost believable. Like this...
- Me: "Can you run to Home Depot to pick up these tools?"
Leetch BS: "I can't. Home Depot closes early on Saturdays."
Even though it doesn't, and it's only 4:30.
- Me: "Can you take those tables over to Josh's?"
Leetch BS: "I can't. It's too wet outside."
Even though the truck bed is covered with a tarp and the table is waterproof.
- Me: "Could we swing by the grocery store so I could pick up dinner?"
Leetch BS: "We can't. The road's closed for construction. You'll have to go back out later."
Even though the road's been open for the past 3 weeks and there are 4 other ways to get there.
You get the picture? It's so common in my house, I wonder if it's a thing elsewhere. Do you know, or are you yourself someone who can come up with that little white lie to get out of doing something you don't want to do? The stupid thing is I wouldn't mind the truth. If someone said, "I'd rather not. It's been a long day and I'm getting antsy running errands. I'd really like to get home." At least then I'm dealing with the truth. Then I have some options. I can accept their reason and agree to go home. Or I can offer an alternative plan, like I'll run in and you can wait in the car. Or a compromise, like I'll run back out later if you'll help me cook.
In any of those scenarios, I'm dealing with the reality in front of me instead of dealing with a lie. And it's not that the lies are big. But they are microaggressions against one's integrity. Over time, I find it harder and harder to trust anything that is said by someone who tells little lies over and over again. It breaks down trust and communication.
So, the next time someone asks you over on a Friday night and you're just too darn tired, try saying, "I'd love to, but it's been a really long week, and I just need to be home Friday night." It's hard to argue with the truth. And even if they do, you can still say no. Plus, then you won't have to pretend to be busy or come up with a more elaborate lie to explain where you were Friday night when you weren't with them. Trust me, the truth is much easier to manage.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Jeremiah 1:4-19
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.” Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgments against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.