• So, this week during worship we heard about Jeremiah’s calling to be a prophet. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). Jeremiah lived in difficult times, politically speaking. He ministered from around 627 BCE, during the reign of King Josiah over Judah (considered one of Judah’s last good kings), until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian Empire and the exile of so many Judeans in 587-86 BCE (This was the same Babylonian exile I wrote about last week.) Jeremiah’s prophetic career would involve crying out against Judah’s infidelity to its covenant with God and warn of God’s judgment. (Long story short, the people wouldn’t listen very well, and the exile would happen anyway.)
     


  • Friends it is a cold and frigid day today, but this is only the beginning from what I am hearing. I hope that we will all make wise choices and be careful if we need to be out and about! Even though I am in the safety and warmth of my house, something else gave me chills this morning. An email, from Church World Service, reminded me that: “January 27th marked two years of attacks by the administration against refugees and Muslims.” Meredith Owen went on to speak about the impact of bans on refugee and Muslim bans on the lives of many and how it also has hindered our capacity as a nation to welcome refugees. The refugee admissions goal for Fiscal Year 2019 is set at 30,000, which is ‘a new record low.’


  • This past Sunday we got to hear from the Book of Nehemiah, one of the historical books of the Old Testament. One line of the Scripture that really stood out to me came from chapter 8, verse 8: “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”
                                                                                                                      
    I don’t know about you guys, but for me, there were times when it would have been helpful to have somebody explain to me, slowly, what in the world I was reading when I was reading the Bible.