Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord to thee*
I was a reader this Sunday and the first lesson was a great one from Jeremiah.
O LORD, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. For I hear many whispering “Terror all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble.”Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail…Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he delivered the life of the needy from the hands of the evildoers. (Jeremiah 20:7-13)
Anyone who thinks the scripture does not speak to us today, think again. At least, it spoke to me.
The assisting priest who gave the sermon did not, of course, refer to the first lesson or to the second, which I also read, but preached on the Gospel. Jesus tells us “What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.” He says, don’t be afraid to take up the cross and follow.
But we are timid aren’t we? Especially in our current culture which delights in ridiculing believers. Perhaps I am especially aware of this working at a university. I know it is somewhat easier living in flyover country, but still. I do take heart knowing that old Jeremiah, writing over twenty-five centuries ago, encountered the same troubles.
Anyway, it was good to get up and read those words, even if I was preaching to the choir.
We were at church on Friday night as well–for a fundraiser for the Episcopal City Mission, an old and worthy outreach program to the juveniles in detention in our fair city.
We went for dinner and then wandered outside to see the activities for children, in particular the petting zoo.
Even the OM got into the act.
I went to a couple of good estate sales on Saturday. I bought a great chair which I’m sure will find its way into one of my kid’s homes. For now it is sitting in my “office”.
I went to a house that through some detective work on my part–I am getting really good at figuring out who lives in the houses I visit–I discovered was the former home of an Episcopal priest, and indeed, the late dean of the Episcopal cathedral here in town. Bingo! I got some good books and a framed picture of a holy land landscape.
We had a couple of nice thunder storms. It rained, but that only made it muggier here. It is summer at last in the midwest. Sigh.
How was your weekend?
*Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) hymn #707