November 23, 2009

The Promise

This year, the St. Paul's family will be participating in the decorating of a Jesse Tree. Each day it is our hope that our members will read the lesson, ponder the theme, and then create an ornament relating to that theme that can be hanged on the Jesse Tree as a part of the liturgy each Sunday. It is from that context that I read the lessons for Sunday and am forced to focus on the lesson from Jeremiah, because it, like the Jesse Tree, is all about the promise.

At five15 on Saturday we had fun with metaphors as we tried to expand our understanding of what it meant to have Christ as King. One that came from a small group was that God is a keeper of promises. In particular we were thinking about the new Ark supposedly being built in the Florida Everglades and how thankful we are that the promise of God to never again flood the whole earth is secure.

Anyway, what is intriguing and scary about the fulfillment of the promise in Jeremiah is that the one who is coming is said to "execute justice and righteousness" which is of course a wonderful and frightening idea because when this happens, I'm in deep trouble, and so are most of you. See, our concepts of justice and righteousness are nothing compared to Jesus' understanding of them. And our comfort is, by and large, based on injustice; the injustice of the haves and have nots, the injustice of outsources labor and cheap production, the injustice of a me first theology of scarcity.

And so today, as I think on the promise, I also realize, I've got a long way to go until I'm ready for that to happen. Lord Jesus come, but maybe no so soon. Amen.

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