Today is the last day of the Liturgical year, and as such as known as Christ the King Sunday or Christ Reigns. After today, we move into the time of Advent and getting readying for the coming of Jesus, but more of that next week.
Our prophet this morning is Jeremiah. Jeremiah lived during the most crucial period of the Kingdom of Judah’s existence, some would say. He saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple even though he was incessant in his warnings to the people to mend their ways before it was too late. Jeremiah ended his days in exile in Egypt whilst the king of Judah and a large number of the people of Israel were in exile in Babylon.
My connection with Jeremiah comes from the first of our readings today, the beginning of the story. Jeremiah, not unlike a number of other prophets, has the conversation with God that he is really not what God needs as a prophet and lists a whole lot of excuses. The one that is picked up by all youth leaders and workers is that fact that he is too young for this. God will always skill and help us for whatever we are called to do. Jeremiah shows us this, so does Moses, Aaron, Abraham and lots of other servants of God.
Our second reading comes from further in the story of Jeremiah and refers to the ‘fake news’ that is being spread by people about God and God’s continued presence and care of the people of Israel. So, there is a touch of déjà vu from last week’s reading but we also see a common theme here. Time and time again God sends the prophets to bring the people back to God.
In chapter seven the people are challenged to stop thinking that the Temple is what matters, as if the building will keep them safe or justify their unjust and complacent ways of living. Jesus alluded
to Jeremiah when he accused the religious authorities of his day of doing the same thing, of focusing on the Temple in such a way that it created costly barriers for anyone coming to pray to God.
For the people of Israel, the Temple was the home of God on earth. Jesus came to show us that God is always in the world, not just in the Temple in Jerusalem, but resides deep within us and is with us always.
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