Wednesday

14 March 2018

Jeremiah 18:18-20

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us bring charges against him, and let us not heed any of his words.’” (v. 18)

Psalm: Psalm 35:9-18


Background

There is a widening gap between rich and poor. While living standards of most people may have improved, such a proclamation will have a hollow ring for the homeless man, or the mother dependent on a foodbank to feed her children. But try telling that to those who have never been without and are comfortable living within their means.

We are told that our country needs to be productive, and that that involves opening markets that are worldwide, sometimes with little regard to the situation or context of those markets. Scant attention is paid to the end point of the trade that raises our standard of living or, perhaps, maintains it. International trade is in a complex balance and often the poor are dependent on the industry that enables the production of an end product. So, of course, it’s worth it.

I wonder if those killed by the weapons which we export for profit would see it quite that way.

Historically, it is just these kinds of distortions of God’s way that Judaeo-Christian prophets have sought to bring into the light. But it takes a brave person to shine that light or to blow the whistle on malpractice. And pits are still dug to dispose of those who expose uncomfortable truths. Yet we still need such prophets.

God still needs prophets who will hold
a mirror to our blindness,
to show us, each and everyone,
how hollow is our kindness;
how empty are our words of love
when shrouded in derision;
how clever words can't justify
unloving indecision…

May we be prophets through our words
and in our hands of healing,
that others might see Christ in us
while Christ to us revealing.

(from ‘God still needs prophets who will rage’ Andrew E Pratt © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd.)


To Ponder

  • What should Christians speak out about today?
  • Do you ever feel uncomfortable when listening to preaching Sunday by Sunday? To what extent is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Bible notes author

The Revd Andrew Pratt

Andrew is a Methodist supernumerary presbyter, Honorary Research Fellow at Luther King House, Manchester, and author. He has written over 1,300 hymns.