Posts Tagged ‘devotions’

Glimmers of Hope (Even in Jeremiah!)

October 27th, 2010 No comments

For the past several weeks, my devotional reading plan has had me in Jeremiah. And, you know what? That’s not the most uplifting book in the whole Bible. (Yes, I’ve read the “good bits” in chapters 29-33.)

The readings for the past week or two haven’t been much fun, with all sorts of threats (“oracles”) being directed at (lately) Babylon.

Even here, though, you stumble across these odd little glimmers of light, like Jeremiah 51:36:

Therefore thus says the LORD:
I am going to defend your cause
and take vengeance for you.

That’s not very far from “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord,” we see in Romans 12:19 (and Hebrews 10:30), but there’s a difference in tone. Instead of being an injuction–don’t try to repay because it’s not your job–it’s a promise of assistance by someone more competent to do the job. If we try the case ourself, we’ll make a mess of it and the perp will walk. But God will take on the case pro bono. That’s a lot more likely to get us justice, because in addition to being a great attorney, God is also the judge.

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Pastoral Tensions

July 27th, 2010 No comments

My reading plan brought me two verses this morning that highlight a tension pastors must maintain. The first is Paul’s well-known call to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ:

But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” —Romans 10:14-15

That’s the pastor’s job. It’s what people come for on Sunday. It’s in our job-title: Minister of Word and Sacrament. That’s what I need to focus on.

Except…. Every day I also read a chapter of Proverbs, and today this jumped out at me:

Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds
Proverbs 27:23

It’s not enough for a pastor simply to proclaim Jesus. You have to proclaim him in a way that people can experience as Good News. And to do that, you have to know the condition of your flocks.

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