Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Pentecost +13

Jeremiah 1:4-10

It would be helpful to extend this passage to verse 19. Left where it is, Jeremiah is given words, but when further queried by G*D Jeremiah responds in pictures and is then given words to describe the scenes. This distinction between the doctrine of words and the experience of pictures is important for those of us who dabble in biblical metaphor.

Most of us can confirm that there has been an energy within that has been working its way outward and now cannot be restrained. It is a gift that now seems it couldn’t be otherwise. This gift must have been with us from before we were even thought of (read Azimov’s Foundation Series). It is of such intensity that we will now hold to it through thick and thin. And so Jeremiah rises and stands.

My hope and prayer is that more folks would have this sense of being part of something larger and be about the business of using their gift to engage a larger community in making the changes needed for all involved to continue. Stability is not the hallmark of a long life, appropriate adjustments mark the successful individual and culture.

At the same time that there is good energy here, there will be trouble later with Jeremiah being dismissed and ignored. And now at a much later date, there is the danger of taking Jeremiah's images too literally and to mean the same thing in days to come. There are none who can hold the whole world in their hand (or mouth). In the words of a song by Bob Franke, we are all bottom-feeding catfish, “for everything falls, after all.”

Jeremiah looks realistically at the world around him and sees transitions of power. If you were to look around you, what would you identify as shifts in power - might they have to do with identity politics of gender, race, culture, orientation? might they have to do with political and economic consequences of their philosophies being taken to the extreme? might they have to do with a lack of resources (both amount and distribution)? might they have to do with a fear that we are going to fall, after all, and so our task is to live well with reality rather our denial of it in favor of one religious insight or another.?

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