As we already have seen, Jeremiah lives in the midst of a darkness where he is the only one who has any light. Jeremiah’s light comes in the form of an unbelievable message that the future belongs to God and to God’s people. God has promised that one of these days all will be made right, and the land will be restored to Israel.

But first, Jeremiah has to act on that message of light. By buying the land that will soon be seized by the enemy, Jeremiah demonstrates his inexplicable hope in Israel’s future. For this message to ring true, Jeremiah has to risk some things. He risks his investment of money but also his reputation and his faith in God’s promises. He has to put some skin in the game. And so Jeremiah buys the land and has the deed put into an earthenware jar so that it will last a long time—long enough for God’s restoration of the people to their land.

We too are called to put some skin in the game when it comes to believing and acting on God’s promises. This kind of risk demonstrates that our faith is genuine. Rather than simply repeating God’s promises, our faith calls us to act upon them as if they were already true. We demonstrate this kind of inexplicable hope to the world today by buying our own piece of land—by building up God’s kingdom and working for justice, righteousness, and peace. Each day brings abundant opportunities for us to risk our time, our money, and perhaps our reputation to prepare the ground for the future and present coming of God’s kingdom on earth.

What is it, Lord, that you want us to risk today? No matter the cost, no matter the risk, may we have the courage and faith to invest in your kingdom. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 16:19-31

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Lectionary Week
September 23–29, 2019
Scripture Overview

While Jeremiah is in prison, God tells him to buy a field. This transaction shows that in the future life will return to normal. It is an “enactment prophecy,” where a prophecy is given through actions instead of just words. The psalmist rejoices in the protection that God provides to the faithful. God is a fortress, a covering, and a shield. Paul admonishes his readers not to fall into materialism. The love of money, not money itself, is the root of all kinds of evil, and those obsessed with it build their hopes on shifting sands. Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who has fallen into that very trap. Only after death, when it is too late, does he realize his mistake.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. How do you live as if God’s promises were already true?
Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. How do you turn toward God with hope in times of darkness?
Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. Whether you have few or many possessions, how do they get in the way of your following Jesus?
Read Luke 16:19-31. God knows each of us by name. Do you know the names of the persons in your community who have obvious or internal unmet needs?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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