Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert towards my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgement against them. –Edmund Burke
‘For my people are foolish,
they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
but do not know how to do good.’ –Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. (Galatians 6:7)
We all must deal with the consequences of our actions or lack of actions. Some have had the first part of this statement drilled into our very being from infancy. I fear we pay far less attention to what happens when we fail to act. What is the cost of our sins of omission?
I seriously doubt that any taking the time to read this are skilled in doing evil. Most of us pay our bills and taxes, go to church, even feed the hungry and clothe the naked to some degree. We may assert ourselves to standing up for what is right when it directly impacts our lives. How quickly do we react to injustice when it primarily affects others?
We may be skilled at ignoring evil. There is a lot of hate and fear being tossed around now regarding strangers we do not know and may never meet. I think it important that we get to know some of these strangers. We need to see for ourselves that they love their children just like we do. Have all the same good and bad traits that we have, and experience joy and pain just like we do. It does not matter if they are newly arrived immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ, persons of differing color, poor, working class, middle class or rich.
Even if we never meet all the others of the world, we need to accord them the same status that we have of being children of God. They are our brothers and sisters. Would you want your biological relatives treated as some of these strangers are treated? What would you do to help your biological relatives in similar circumstances? More importantly, what would Jesus do?
Prayer: Lord, welcoming the stranger as you command us throughout the Bible sometimes puts us outside our comfort zone. Be our comforter and enable our advocacy. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.