Today’s Bible readings can be found online here: Jeremiah 8:1-12 and Galatians 3:1-14.
Jeremiah 8:11 “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.” (NIV)
Across the United States today, thousands of High Schoolers are walking out of their classes to collectively express their anger and distress over the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. For seventeen minutes, these young people will gather together at flagpoles, outdoor recess areas, and beyond the school gates to display their solidarity against the violence that is sadly too often experienced all over our beautiful nation. Like the Boston Tea Party members before the War of Independence, they are protesting about the current legislation which most people agree needs to be changed but is never truly altered. They are expressing their weariness of politicians at all levels who promise to make much-needed amendments after each mass shooting event, but who never get around to fulfilling their words. The protests, then, are our young peoples’ way of putting our representatives on notice that when their turn comes to be given the right to vote, they will remember this day and recall who actually listened to their voices.
Today’s passage from Jeremiah deals with a similar time in the life of God’s people. The prophet bewails the fact that injustice and wickedness, corruption and violence are breaking apart the whole community and diminishing the faith of the nation. Fear and greed, dishonesty and coercion have contaminated the courage and strength of God’s people. They are drifting apart from one another and distancing themselves from God. Sadly, they are also being deceived by the authorities who declare that all is well. In response, God speaks through Jeremiah with words that cut through the hypocrisy and hyperbole: ‘They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.’
I don’t know what the outcome of today’s protests will be, but I am proud of what our young people are doing and it makes feel better about the future. In my opinion, they are displaying one of the great freedoms that our nation gives to our people: the right to freely assemble and protest. May God bless all of their endeavors.
Point to ponder: How supportive am I of our young people? How am I seeking to give them a better future?
Prayer: Lord God, there were times and moments in our history when Your Spirit moved an entire generation of folks to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They showed their solidarity and worked for the good of our people. In the midst of these current days, anoint our young people with common ideals and personal commitment that will alter our insufficient ways and change our nation, for the betterment of our society and the rest of the world. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s drawings called ‘Peacemakers.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here. If you would like to give some feedback about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.