There is a continual search after freedom of one kind or another throughout the world. In South Africa, the long search after political freedom eventually came in 1994. On April 27, 1994, a new era dawned as every eligible adult gained the freedom to vote.
In his prophecy Jeremiah tells of the cries of the people of Judah as they seek after freedom from exile in Babylon. They long to be back in Jerusalem where they know they can find the Lord. Jeremiah mourns with a broken heart the plight of his people because freedom has not come. God becomes angry because the people have begun to worship foreign gods. Jeremiah is dismayed because time has passed and still God has not saved the people. No amount of medicine can restore the relationship of the people of Judah to God.
Just as Jeremiah longs for healing, salvation, and freedom from oppression for the people of Judah, so people around the world look for healing and salvation in their current situation. But when we seek healing and salvation, we sometimes look in the wrong direction like the people of Judah who turn to cultic gods. Then, like Jeremiah, we cry out in our distress and wonder where God has gone.
We will go in the right direction when we look toward God. Our relationship with God offers us a healing medicine that will set us free—free to be God’s people in the world.
Together with the prophet Jeremiah I cry out, O God. Hear my cry to be healed and set free. Help me to look to you as my source of life and hope. Amen.
The “weeping prophet” grieves for the plight of his people. They have provoked God’s judgment by following foreign gods, and now there is no comfort to be found. The psalmist cries out to God from a similar situation of despair. Foreign nations have overrun the land, destroyed Jerusalem, and killed many of its people. The psalmist cries out to God for compassion and restoration. The author of First Timothy gives his readers two commands. They should pray for and honor their leaders, and they should be faithful to the one true God, with whom they have a relationship through Christ Jesus. Jesus in Luke tells a strange parable about a dishonest manager who is commended for his shrewd business sense, but Jesus turns his story to a teaching about good stewardship.
Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. When have you called out to God in your distress?
Read Psalm 79:1-9. As you search after a solution to life’s problems, how do you demonstrate God’s call to love and to justice?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. How do you pray for your local, state or province, and national leaders with whom you agree? with whom you disagree?
Read Luke 16:1-13. How do you negotiate the complexities of Jesus’ call to be a good steward of your resources as you seek to serve God rather than money?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.