Readings each Sunday Vanderbilt lectionary library and Textweek

Jeremiah 31: 27-34;Psalm 119: 97-104; 2 Tim 3:10 – 4:5 Luke 18: 1-14 from Vanderbilt

Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost 16 October 2016 pdf
Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost 16 October 2016 mp3

Proper 24C / Ordinary 29C / Pentecost +22 Oct 16, 2016 from Textweek

About Justice, Restoration and Peace

About Justice for all people.
About restoration before God as we all turn away from God at times.
About Peace because that is what we have in God.

The book of Jeremiah is a Prophetic Oracle and Narrative of the History of Israel. Jeremiah wrote it sometime during his ministry about 626-586 B.C.
Its purpose was to warn of the destruction that they were about to face and to urge Judah to return and submit to God.
Jeremiah was a priest who God further calls to be His prophet. Jeremiah identifies the sins and wrong of the people and then attempts to warn them of the consequences of their sinful ways. Jeremiah is bold enough to advise them that a new king would come and bring New Covenant a new agreement with God’s People.

Jeremiah is also bold enough to suggest that he knows that God has become angry and stubborn and will not listen when they call to God in their distress.
Jeremiah writes about the New Covenant and the hope that God would bring when He delivers them after the captivity.
A new covenant or agreement that God would forgive and restore our relationship with God if we turn our hearts to God.

King Zedekiah who did not heed his warning throws Jeremiah into prison. But still Jeremiah warned that the King would fall into the hands of the King of Babylon.
Jeremiah tells the story of the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
As has been told by the prophets in the past, that the Empire of Babylon would laid siege to Jerusalem and the land of Judah.
This completed the exile of both kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. and now the Southern Kingdom in 586 B.C.
As Jeremiah had declared in 37:17, King Zedekiah was captured and dragged off to Babylon in captivity. The consequences of turning from God.
Then in chapter 50, Jeremiah prophetically tells of God’s promises to rescue His nation from captivity. And later declares, “Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away. "

There is something here, of tough love, by a parent in an attempt to teach children through discipline what is right and wrong.

Trying to understand this from western 21st Century thinking is not to a comfortable fit. We might even be drawn to think, that God has changed his thinking process when Jeremiah announces a new king coming and a new covenant that would be made.

We need to remember that the nation of Israel was and is God's chosen people and their ideology or thinking process was about them as a nation or community and not as individuals.

The new covenant does move from a relationship between God and the community or nation to a covenant with us as individuals.

While God had a special relationship with a few like Jeremiah now we can have a personal relationship with God though the Holy Spirit which would not come until Jesus Christ had died, risen from the dead and returned to the Father.

We are told that God allowed his chosen people to be taken by their enemy!
Would you, if you had very badly behaving teenagers, would you let them be taken away by their enemy. Okay maybe!! Most of us have been there.

It is hard for us today to fully comprehend what justice was needed for the wayward people of Israel but it did seem to cause God to change his approach with this people.

33 "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD."I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

So what do we learn from Paul and Luke this morning.
Paul went from one persecuting God’s people to one being persecuting in the name of Jesus and encouraging them to accept it.
Paul was talking about the Godlessness of the last days.
While God’s people had forgotten God in Jeremiah’s day, things had not changed in Pauls day. Nor has it changed for many today!

About Justice, Restoration and Peace in the new covenant.

It is through our baptism and acceptance in to God’s chosen family as we are gentiles then by to continual confession and forgiveness, as we like God’s chosen people are not perfect.

God calls us to act in justice ways, in right ways in all of our lives. The parables today call us to be humble, to pray and to stay right with God which chosen did not always do. Nor do we as part of our human nature is to be selfish and self-centred.

To learn from the past, from biblical history and the way God has dealt justice with God’s own people and to be in tune with the new covenant, we should read the stories and connect and trust in God in prayer.
As we mature in spirit the teachings of Jesus Christ should be ingrained in our lives each day of the week which will put us in good stead with God in this life and the next.

In preparing to present a short talk to intern Doctors at the Penrith University recently, in providing a spiritual perspective for the palliative care ward and in revising of my notes from last year, the process gave time to reconsider my own spiritual health today and on the day of my death.

I again told the story of Mary and Marie. Both Christian, Anglicans both dying of cancer in hospital at the same time. They were in rooms either side of the hall way in the hospital ward which I visited. Mary did not connect with God in Prayer but Marie did. Marie had known Jesus for most of her life and been faithful for most of it. As I visited Marie I could tell that there was even a bit of excitement in the air with Marie as she approached her own death. But Mary was full of fear as she did not know God or had any spiritual awareness.
I hope I'm in as good a place as Marie, when I am on my death bed.

About Justice, Restoration and Peace in the new covenant in God.

Three Questions to reflect on!
What did you understand of God when you first came to understand anything about God?
What do you understand of God now, today?
What will you understand of God on your last day in this life?

Richard Whereat