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Jeremiah 2:1-8, God Pleads with Israel to Repent

Tuesday, November 28

A Hurt God

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

We know that God is almighty, powerful, omnipotent, and eternal. But how often do we consider that God might be hurt? I hear pain and sorrow in God's plea to Israel to turn from her wicked ways and return to God. I hear the lament of a God whose people have turned away. I hear abandonment, isolation, and regret.

I have long believed the idea that what we do or don't do deeply affects God. I don't think God is unemotional or distant. I believe God is deeply invested in us. Hurt when we turn away. Ecstatic when we seek God's presence. What we do to ourselves, to others, to our planet -- all of these things make a difference, not only to us, but to God, too.

In my lifetime, I have experienced a great deal of joy and pain. I often find that the pain that is the most difficult to endure is the pain I have inflicted on others. I can deal with my own pain. I can barely stand the pain I've caused. When I've hurt someone I love, it's unbearable. To think I can hurt God is equally unbearable. 

But I also know God is strong enough to handle it. God forgives. God heals. And God desires to be in a healthy, happy relationship with us. Even when we blow it. Even when we ignore God for too long. God wants us back. Every moment of every day, God wants us back.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Jeremiah 2:1-8

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord. Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? They did not say, “Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?” I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.

Earlier Event: November 27
Jeremiah 1:4-19, Jeremiah’s Call
Later Event: November 29
Jeremiah 3:1-5, Unfaithful Israel