Scripture: Jeremiah 36:11-26
Key verse: (23) “…the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire…”
Reflection: If you can get past all of the names in this reading for today you will find political scandal, drama, and intrigue. The prophet Jeremiah has been speaking against the kingdom for its neglect of the poor and the most vulnerable in society, those who the king was ordered to care for. In fact, many of the king’s actions led to the poverty and even enslavement of others. Surely someone will do something about this, right? And yet for years the lifestyle of the kingdom was one which benefited a few on the backs of many. Those who were benefiting were those in places of power with the ability to keep the oppressed at bay. If not the king and his leaders, who will speak for the vulnerable, who will act in midst of injustice? And so in our text for today we see a reasonable first approach at change with the passage of information from Jeremiah to Baruch to Micaiah to Elishama to Jehudi to King Jehoiakim. As the word gets passed on notice how it moves from Micaiah, and all who heard with him who were alarmed, the whole way to the king who sat passively tearing the scroll and throwing it in the fire. Voices were lifted up, but nothing happened.
Perhaps you have encountered tangible injustice in your daily life, but decided not to do anything about it. Or maybe you have seen something and decided to say something. Or have you had enough with words and moved on to actions to take matters into your own hands? Seeing injustice in the world is heart breaking, especially when it seems like no one is listening to those lifting their voices or responding to calculated actions for change. But may we not lose hope, for our true and lasting hope is in Jesus Christ our redeemer and savior, through whom lasting change will come. When frustrations with injustice arise, may we not give up nor may we abandon our morals to try and force change by any necessary means, but may we hold fast to Christ speaking boldly in love, acting justly, and walking humbly with God.
Prayer: Faithful God, guide us in your way, and open our eyes to the hope of your kingdom. As we encounter injustice in the world may we hold fast to you. Holy Spirit, soften our hearts and strengthen our feet that we may be with those who are seeking your peace. Through Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].