Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHANGE THE WAY OF LIFE
This is prophetic address to the people of Judah as they come to the temple of God for worship. God called Jeremiah to stand at the gate of the temple, and preach a message, a message that they needed
to hear. The prophet criticized some perennial issues in the worshipping community, which are relevant in our spirituality today.
Limitation of temple centered religious life:- The people were active in temple practices and keeping the laws. But their religious experience was limited only at the temple. They had words of trust instead of trusting the Lord. Their relationship with God did not cross the boundaries of the temple activities. They had a name and claims (v.4) but did not have the nature of children of God. Their words were only deceptive words. They knew that God lived there, and by offering up their sacrifices they would be okay. The Prophet told them that offering sacrifice did not mean that they walked with the Lord.
There is a story about the Emperor Napoleon. Once a criminal was brought before Napoleon to give an account of the crimes he committed. Napoleon asked the man his name. The man said his name was Napoleon. The Emperor then instructed the man either to change his name or change his criminal nature.
Religious life with reformation and relationships:- This is a general call for a change of behavior beyond the temple. They had the attitude to separate religion and secular life. Their action, words and attitude were different outside the temple. Here the prophet emphasizes the moral qualification of the worshippers, a holy life before the holy God. It is an exhortation to the people to change their behavior. This is a warning against the false security of the people that God will protect the land and people, no matter what the people did or how they behaved.
Our social and corporate life should be an extension of the worship. The spiritual qualities should extend into ethics and moral life. Devotion to God should reflect in our day to day life situations and relationship with fellow beings. The Lord expects just and fair dealings from his people, protection and care of the margins of the society, and loyalty to the Lord.
Prayer: Lord the source of our salvation give us the sensitivity and courage to go beyond the limitations in every sense and to be the true witness of your kingdom in this earth.
Rev. A. B. Binu, Vicar, Long Island MTC, New York.