Faith often requires us to trust in a perspective other than our own, which is an incredibly hard thing to do. It often asks us to suspend our rational judgment for a moment and trust that our Infinite Creator has a much better grasp of our situation than our finite minds do. In today’s passage, the prophet Jeremiah tells the people of Israel something they’ve been reminded of again and again—when they rely on the human way of doing things, rather than the way of God, they will find themselves dried up, parched, and dying. They will, the prophet says, miss out on the prosperity that God has promised to bring when they trust in the divine will.

Too many of us have been conditioned to feel as if God’s commands (or the commands of anyone) are to keep us from doing what we want to do. The truth is, however, that the principles and lessons of scripture are intended to guide us on the path of abundant life. They seek to provide a corrective to the finite and flawed human belief that working hard enough, earning enough money, or experiencing the most pleasure will lead to a fulfilling life.

Not only does this path not lead to fulfillment; it actually drains the life out of us. Jeremiah’s message is clear: Don’t trust in the limited perspective of humans, or you will be greatly disappointed.

As we go about living day by day, it is important to ask if we are looking at our circumstances from a self-centered, limited, human lens, or if we are seeking to align with God’s perspective, even if it doesn’t make immediate sense to us. Our answer to that question will determine the quality of the life we will live.

God, help me not to rely on my own perspective but to have the faith and courage to trust that your ways are higher than mine. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 6:17-26

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Lectionary Week
February 7–13, 2022
Scripture Overview

God wants us to be rooted firmly in our faith. Jeremiah contrasts those who put their trust in themselves with those who trust in God. The latter are like healthy trees with deep roots and a constant water supply, never in danger of drying up or dying. The psalmist uses the same image to describe those who meditate on God’s teachings. Thus, as you do these daily readings and reflect on them, you are sinking deep roots into fertile soil. Agricultural imagery is continued in Paul’s letter. Paul describes Jesus Christ risen in the flesh as the first fruit, meaning that he is the first of many who will be resurrected. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, worldly success is not necessarily an indication of God’s blessing.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Examine your heart. Do you place your trust in “mere mortals” or in the Lord?
Read Psalm 1. How do you seek to meditate on God’s Word day and night?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. How has your understanding of the resurrection of the dead changed your living?
Read Luke 6:17-26. How do you understand the paradoxes of Jesus’ blessings and woes?

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.