Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, November 25, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
Main Idea: The excuses and little white lies we tell ourselves or others limit us.
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.)
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 Daily Reading:
Jeremiah 1:4-10; 7:1-11
Jeremiah’s Call and Commission
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.’
Jeremiah Proclaims God’s Judgment on the Nation
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lordof hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’
For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors for ever and ever.
Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are safe!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord.