March 26, 2018
All DayCategory: Adult Education
Lamentations 1:1-2; 6-12
As we enter into Holy Week, I was allotted to write about the above-mentioned passage. Believe me, it was not my choice. Although I do not especially like the Prophet Jeremiah, I have two things in common with him ─ complaining and crying, even when I am not sad. You know that I am already over 50; Jeremiah was in his 50s when the city of Jerusalem fell. I have never even been to Jerusalem. So, my Lord, what do you want me to share with my sisters and brothers in the faith today?
(vv 1-2) Jeremiah expresses his deep sorrow over the tragic circumstances that caused Jerusalem’s fall. The Holy City is personified as a deserted widow who has lost her children and been betrayed by her friends; she is left completely alone with no one to comfort her.
My interpretation: Yes, I understand. I was an orphan, I lost both my parents at an early age in India; I was then brought up in a children’s home there. But the Lord has been my hope and comfort and he has made me who and what I am today. I would like to emphasize that when there literally seems to be no hope, there is still a place of hope on the Cross of Golgotha.
(vv 6-12) Those who go their own way and ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, may find that in their hour of need, there is no one to help them. Individuals can reach a point of rebellion against God where he will cause calamity rather than good for them. Such awful consequences can be avoided only by maintaining a holy fear of God and deciding to turn from evil.
In verses 11 and 12, the roles change; up to verse 11, Jeremiah is the one lamenting; from verse 12 on, it is Jerusalem personified who is the one lamenting.
Some believers emphasize God’s love and forgiveness and ignore his fierce anger against all who refuse to heed his call to righteousness. Their view that Christ tolerates sin and immorality because of his love for us is not valid.
The unbreakable relationship between us and our God, means, in the end, salvation for Israel and her neighbors. Is this characteristic of hope given by Jeremiah not valid for the global community today?
Prayer: Father God, help us to have faith and hope, even when things are not looking good. We are not alone, since you are always with us. Give us grateful hearts; thank you for wiping away our tears and we ask you to remove from us the heart of complaining. May this time of Lent help us live in a way that is pleasing in your sight. Amen.