Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 20:1-18; Matthew 24:29-51
For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the LORD was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. (Jeremiah 20:8)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Wait a minute. Isn’t the Word of God supposed to be a good thing? Isn’t it supposed to bring comfort and joy and peace and happiness and all that? It didn’t to Jeremiah. When he preached it, he got in big trouble. He was nearly killed several times. The Word of God got Jeremiah into a lot of trouble!
The Word of God is like that. To those outside the Church, the Word is silly, foolish. It’s so dumb that people want to kill Christians just to shut them up.
But to us, the people of God, the Word of God IS a great comfort and joy. It does bring peace and gladness. But that’s not because we can use it to show up the world and bring shame to others. It brings comfort because it makes a promise. The Bible promises that for Jesus’ sake, all your sins are forgiven and you are going to have everlasting life.
When Jesus died on the cross, He died for all people. He even died for the people who hated Him and who hate His people. Even the people who hate you.
The Word’s promise is that you have eternal life even beyond this one. There is indeed a time of suffering in which the Lord is teaching you that you can’t trust in yourself, only in Jesus. The time will come when the Lord will come back, the dead will be raised and all things will be put right.
Until that day, we don’t know whether God’s Word will convert some people or not. We don’t know if the enemies of the Gospel will become Christians. The Holy Spirit can certainly accomplish that through His Word.
But it is in His Word whereby we have true comfort. For in that Word we have the Good News that saves us from all things. This is the Good News of Jesus. It is the Good News Jeremiah looked for and hoped in but that now, for us, has come to pass and we know it’s all worked out in the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Yet even though I suffer The world’s unpleasantness, And thought the days grow rougher And bring me great distress, That day of bliss divine, Which knows no end or measure, And Christ, who is my pleasure, Forever shall be mine. (From God Can Nothing Move Me, LSB 713:6)