Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Jeremiah 2:4-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:
What wrong did your ancestors find in me
that they went far from me,
and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?
They did not say, “Where is the Lord
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us in the wilderness,
in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
in a land that no one passes through,
where no one lives?”
I brought you into a plentiful land
to eat its fruits and its good things.
But when you entered you defiled my land,
and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?”
Those who handle the law did not know me;
the rulers transgressed against me;
the prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after things that do not profit.
Therefore once more I accuse you,
says the Lord,
and I accuse your children’s children.
Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has ever been such a thing.
Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for something that does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
says the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug out cisterns for themselves,
that can hold no water.
As I read through this piece of scripture with God lamenting that Israel had forsaken our Creator, I thought of how often we take things for granted in our country. Our constitutional rights notwithstanding, we have tons of modern conveniences, such as microwaves, central heat and air, cars, computers, cell phones, and televisions. We don’t realize how good we have it until we don’t. As tornadoes ripped through middle Tennessee the first week of March, it was sad to see people’s lives scattered and strewn for miles. Our modern conveniences mean so much less when we see the people of our country lacking for basic amenities. In the wake of such tragedy and loss of life, we have seen local communities and travelers from other states band together to help our neighbors. When a catastrophe occurs, people tend to forget their “first world” problems and focus on what matters: loving our neighbors the way God loves us, wholly and without limit.
God, you’ve given us so much for which to be thankful. Help us to remember what matters in this world. Also, please give comfort and peacetime those that are suffering the loss of loved ones, their homes, their belongings as a result of the tornadoes in Tennessee. Thank you for helping to restore our faith in each other as we show our faith in you. Amen.
Go with God!