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Jeremiah 8:18—9:11, The Prophet Mourns for the People

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
— Jeremiah 8:21

NL Daily Devotion for Tuesday, November 27, 2018

weeping for humanity

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

Since the beginning of humanity, there have been moments when humanity celebrates its goodness, and other moments when tears are shed for humanity’s wickedness. The reality is that that laughter and those tears can happen at the same time. Humanity is both flawed and redeemed. No one is wholly perfect nor wholly evil. We are all a blend of both.

Today we mourn with Jeremiah for the darker side of humanity. We cry for the injustices that oppress. We weep for the greed that keeps the poor in poverty. We wail for the apathy that keeps our planet sick.

But we also wait for the coming of a child that changes everything. Advent is coming, and so is the one who turns tears to joy.

Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Jeremiah 8:18—9:11

My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” (“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?”) “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?

O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people! O that I had in the desert a traveler’s lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a band of traitors. They bend their tongues like bows; they have grown strong in the land for falsehood, and not for truth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the Lord. Beware of your neighbors, and put no trust in any of your kin; for all your kin are supplanters, and every neighbor goes around like a slanderer. They all deceive their neighbors, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongues to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent. Oppression upon oppression, deceit upon deceit! They refuse to know me, says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: I will now refine and test them, for what else can I do with my sinful people? Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit through the mouth. They all speak friendly words to their neighbors, but inwardly are planning to lay an ambush. Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord; and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this? Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the animals have fled and are gone. I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals; and I will make the towns of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.

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