The watchman on the wall

I am reading back through Ezekiel these days, asking the Lord about “imagination.”

As I read through the early part of Ezekiel again, I am struck by Ezekiel’s call. I also think of Jeremiah’s call. They were to warn clearly regardless of the response. If they didn’t give the warning, God would hold them (the prophets) accountable. In an era where church leaders are consumed with response, this is just offensive.  Continue reading “The watchman on the wall”

What do you think you’re doing?

Through Holy Week I have been meditating daily on Scripture through the Book of Common Prayer. There will be some psalms every day, an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, and a Gospel reading.

Today, the reading from Jeremiah 17 exploded into my foggy brain.  Continue reading “What do you think you’re doing?”

Believing in hell

There are days I want to believe in a hotter hell for those who perform such cowardly acts as killing school children in Pakistan.

No matter what my theology may finally find to be true, today there is weeping.

A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more. (Jer. 31:15)

Ancient Paths are So Cutting Edge

The Lord proclaims:
Stop at the crossroads and look around;
    ask for the ancient paths.
    Where is the good way?
Then walk in it
    and find a resting place for yourselves.
        But you said, “We won’t go!” (Jer. 6:16)

Ancient paths really aren’t so “cutting edge.” It’s the invitation of God. When someone under 40 mentions them, then they seem so “cutting edge,” but the realization is those paths have been there. 

They don’t “shout out” to us. They are there with the invitation from God. 

It is a call to return. It’s not that hard. It’s rather simple. 

We just want our “own path.” We want our “own rhythm.” 

What we need is the rhythm of the Kingdom. We need to quit being stubborn and refusing the ancient path marked out for us. 

Jeremiah and the broken heart

I grew up with the phrase describing Jeremiah as “the weeping prophet.”

As I read through this powerful book once again, I find myself in a place of feeling that heart break.

“Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you
and tore away the chains of your slavery,
but still you said,
‘I will not serve you.’
On every hill and under every green tree,
you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. (Jer. 2:20)

God did the very best for Israel and they continually sought other lovers. I pray for my own life, the church today, and how we have become so efficient in what we do, but are we drawing from the the living fountain God gives us, or are we using our own broken cisterns?

We need a fresh call in our spirits to return to the God of our first love.

Prophesying False Hope

Pick the hot social issue of the day. Pick the hot button issue of any type in our current time.

Think of the rhetoric you hear on blogs and other forms of media.

On any issue, no matter the “side,” more often than not you will hear opinion. Sometimes, as Christians, it may have some sense of “biblical” formation. Yet, more often than not, the opinions offered will be more along the lines of “I had this happen to me, or to someone close to me, so I am changing my view from ‘A’ to ‘B’.”

When it comes to Christians offering opinions and views, that is the case as well.

What rarely happens is someone saying anything about prayer and hearing the word of the Lord more clearly.

Too often we are prophesying false hope.

Too little of our opinion is coming out of prayer and hearing more clearly the word of God and too much is coming out of the other experiences we have around us. It doesn’t matter the “side.”

We are not people of prayer any more. We are people of opinions. And in the process we may be prophesying false hope.

18 But who has stood in the Lord’s council
to listen to God’s word?
Who has paid attention to his word and announced it? (Jer. 23:18, CEB)

I know this idea runs the risk of having someone get up and just saying, “Thus saith the Lord!”

But, as always, shouting “Thus saith the Lord!” doesn’t mean the Lord saith it.

We, as the people of God, need to be standing more in the Lord’s council, begging for HIS view. We need to spend more time with our ears open to HIS word, rather than the words of others we LIKE to hear…

And when we truly hear his word… announce it. Proclaim it. With boldness. Without fear.

But until we get back to standing in the council of the Lord, we may just be prophesying false hope.