Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Psalm 119:89-96 (The law of God gives life); Jeremiah 36:27-32 (Jeremiah dictates a second scroll); Luke 4:38-44 (Jesus heals and preaches in synagogues)
If you want people to move you down to a lower tier of humanity these days, mention that you believe the Bible and practice what it says. Our society pays lip service to the Bible, no doubt about that, but if you happen to be enough of a fanatic to claim to believe the Bible and that you seek to do what it says, well, you might just be a little fanatical. In their eyes, society has disproven the Bible and seeks to show it unnecessary for modern life. Their favorite sentence construction is something like “I can <insert noble deed here> without the Bible.”
Reports of the Bible’s irrelevance in modern society have been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain. Some may seek to bury it on the ash heap of history, but the truths in God’s word will never fade away. Jehoiakim literally burned the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah. God wasn’t finished yet. “So Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on it all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them.” (Jeremiah 36:32) Perhaps Jehoiakim thought that by burning God’s word he would make it go away or become ineffectual. Perhaps he thought that if God’s word was gone, he couldn’t be held accountable for obeying them. He discovered that God will speak as He wills when Jeremiah dictated the words from God to his scribe again. So many today who laugh at God’s word, especially the parts about needing a Savior and how God loves them, will learn that God will continue to speak no matter how they seek to evade God’s message of truth. Our job is to continue to proclaim God’s message of salvation even to those who might mock us now. In the long run, God’s word will prevail.
Lord God, there are so many today who turn away from Your word and show it by their deeds, words, and attitudes. Let my life remind them daily of Your grace and Your message of salvation.