To Pluck and to Plant

Marc Chagall - 1965While Jeremiah is one of the Bible's better known prophets, his full message is perhaps one of the most neglected parts of scripture.  Jeremiah speaks an uncomfortable message of God's anger and God's grief poured out on unfaithful Israel in the period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the deportation into Babylon.  In spite of its ancient background and disturbing content, the prophet Jeremiah and the book that bears his name speaks to God's people today.  It offers an invitation to listen to God’s voice and trust God’s purposes in the midst of calamity and social upheaval.  For those with ears to hear, Jeremiah calls us to respond boldly and faithfully to the ultimate reality of God. 

 

Week 3:  Jeremiah 4:23-38 and Jeremiah 23:23-32

"God of Endings"

Churches aren’t supposed to be the happiest places on earth (leave that to Disney Land).  Churches are supposed to be the most honest places on earth.  Sometimes this deep level of honesty and truth means staring the brutal facts in the face; acknowledging brokenness and failure, acknowledging pain and disappointment, acknowledging sin and that things are not the way they are supposed to be.  As we continue on in this series on Jeremiah, Jeremiah confronts the brutal facts about the prophets and the priests in Jerusalem and the impending destruction at the hands of the Babylonians.  Only by facing these hard realities can God’s people turn back to God in spirit and in truth.  

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Week 2:  Jeremiah 18:1-12

"The Potter's House"

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“If there is any place at which most of us are manifestly co-opted, it is in this way; we do not believe that there will be any newness but only that there will be merely a moving of the pieces into new patterns”  Walter Brueggeman from The Prophetic Imagination.

Reading Plan for Week 2

Jeremiah's Prophetic Drama

  • Jeremiah 13:1-11 
  • Jeremiah 16:1-4
  • Jeremiah 19:1-13
  • Jeremiah 27:2-11

 

 

 

Week 1:  Jeremiah 2:1-13

“Breaking Ground for a Renewed World” 

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On Sunday September 25th we began a 6-week series through the book of Jeremiah called “to pluck and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Jeremiah was sent to give a warning to Judah and Jerusalem to turn from evil and do good, to forsake idolatry and pursue righteousness.  Much of the book of Jeremiah depicts the stubbornness of God’s people, yet underneath it all is God’s work to bring about a New Covenant. 

In many ways, Jeremiah is like a gardener, tiling the hard, rocky soil of Jerusalem’s heart.  Jeremiah is doing the grunt work of clearing the heart’s rocky soil to make it into fertile soil for the word of God to take root.  Jeremiah’s message often cuts the heart and soul.  But if we open ourselves to it, God will work to make all things new. 

 

Reading Plan for Week 1

Getting to Know the Weeping Prophet

            Jer 23:23-29                The LORD is against the prophets

            Jer 1:4-10                    Jeremiah’s call to be God’s prophet

            Jer 7:1-8:3                   Jeremiah’s first sermon

          Jer 24:1-14 Jeremiah's Exile sermon

            Jer 11:18-23                Jeremiah’s life threatened