The Prophet's Balm in Gilead (Jeremiah 8:18-9:11)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Jeremiah 8:18–9:11
Have you ever suffered through a time of great loss when you felt lost, lonely, or abandoned? Most of us have experienced that at one time or another. And if you haven't yet, sadly, you probably will. Perhaps for you it was the loss of a loved one, an unexpected change in job, location, or school, maybe a fractured relationship or even just a friendship that has faded away over time. In each of these cases, there's some sort of loss that leaves you feeling empty and sad. And when that happens, often we find ourselves questioning the presence of God in our lives. Oh, we know He's there on an intellectual or theological level, we just don't feel like He's there. And so we end up wondering "Where's God in all of this? Why can't I sense His presence anymore? Why does it feel like He's left me?" And those questions are not uncommon.
In our passage this week, Jeremiah 8 and 9, we find the Prophet Jeremiah asking some of these same kind of questions. He's lamenting the state of his people, how they've abandoned their love for God and given up on their faith. And since it's become clear that little to no healing is coming from the religious leaders, he decides to plead with God to heal His people. We also live in a day and an age where there are scores of people who've abandoned their love for God and given up on the church, the faith, and Christianity in general. And it's easy for us to complain about it, but it's much less common to plead with God over it. God's people, the church, need healing for our relationships, our struggles, and feelings of insignificance when our culture not only looks down on us, but dismisses us as irrelevant. We need to develop the habit of pleading with God to take action, not just out there "in the world," but in here "in the church." And we should be pleading with God to start by bringing His healing and comfort to our own hearts and minds first.
Of course, Christ promises us a comforter. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He promises that He will always be with us. Most of us already know that, so how do we get to the point where we feel it too. We'll talk about that this Sunday. And then we'll come to the Lord's Table together. See you then, Dr. Dave
P.S. Since we'll be meeting in the cafeteria this week for communion, the format will be a little different, please be flexible. And thanks again to the set-up, sound team, and worship leaders who are working extra hard to make meeting in the cafeteria go well.