Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday in Lent 5

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7)
Jeremiah's advice to the exiles makes me think of the "Bloom where you are planted" line, though it is more profound than that. I think it reminds us that we do not serve God by seeking, anticipating, fostering, or delighting in the downfall of society. There is a mindset, fueled by apocalyptic imagery and an attitude like Ezra's, that expects divine rescue while the world goes up in flames and actually yearns for that to happen. I find it difficult to reconcile that with God's love for the world. Some go so far as to declare John 3:16 a lie, and sane people rightly recognize that as a sign of severe mental imbalance and utter betrayal of the Gospel.

Wherever we find ourselves, and under whatever circumstances, that is where we must live, learn to love, grow in grace, and serve others.

The verse from Psalm 141, illustrated above, reinforces Elizabeth's "rant" of yesterday, one that calls me to account for certain chainsaw imagery. Sigh. "But I don't want to repent." Still, God calls me to. Another sigh. I will retire the graphic, though acknowledging that what I have said before reflects my hyperbolic emotions.

O Lord, you relieve our necessity out of the abundance of your great riches: Grant that we may accept with joy the salvation you bestow, and manifest it to all the world by the quality of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
--the BB

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