Reflections: Friday of the Third-Last Week

Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. (Jeremiah 25:5) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jeremiah must have felt as if he was talking to himself. The people of Judah, to whom he was sent to preach, had a long history of ignoring God’s Word. And they weren’t about to listen to what Jeremiah had to say. He brought them the “promise” of exile and distress as God’s judgment against their sin. They had a First Commandment problem, that is, they did not fear, love and trust in God above all things. Instead, when political and economic hard times came, they turned to pagan nations for help. 

Yet the Lord did not abandon his people. He continued to send them servants of His redeeming work, like Jeremiah. He issued a loving call to repentance. “Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds.” They did not listen. God would “banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. [The] whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jeremiah 25:10-11). Yet God’s promise to save Judah stood, and He would bring a faithful remnant home.

 We know that the promised answer to repentance is always forgiveness and mercy from the Lord. For the faithful of Judah that would mean a return to the land that God had sworn to Abraham and his seed forever. From those people would come the redeemer of the world, Jesus. Born of a daughter of the promise to Abraham, Jesus would answer for the sins of all in His death and resurrection. Hear the Word of the Lord, you, His saints. He loves you enough to call you to repentance and faith. He promises to answer with words of forgiveness. He will cause you to dwell in the land He has promised to all who love Him. He will bring you the promised land of eternal life and resurrection through Jesus Christ our Lord. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Grant us, O God, the strength and courageTo live the faith our lips declare; Bless us in our baptismal calling; Christ’s royal priesthood help us share. Turn us from ev’ry false allegiance, That we may trust in Christ alone: Raise up in us a chose people Transformed by love to be Your own. (“Mark How the Lamb of God’s Self-Offering” LSB 600, st.3)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch