Reflecting on Jeremiah 23: 1-6
The assault of Nebuchadnezzar’s army on the citizens of Jerusalem in 597 BC was, until the Holocaust, certainly the greatest horror ever afflicted upon the Jewish people. A third of the population died by fire, a third by the sword, and a third were taken away in chains, to be marched 1700 miles to Babylon.
Jeremiah, who had the terrible burden of witnessing this siege, must certainly have thought, “how did this happen?’ and “who didn’t do their job along the way, that this could happen to us now?” His answer was bitter: it was the religious and civil leadership of Jerusalem that failed us, for years and years. Woe to those shepherds.
Watching the videos of the collapse of the condominium complex in Florida, and trying to imagine how this could possibly have happened, we feel like Jeremiah.
Whose fault is this? How did an event like this happen in our own rich country? We’ve heard the answers, but no matter how we try to distance ourselves, a deep disturbance is rising within us. Something is very wrong.
Every city in our wealthy country is now faced with encampments on the street and in neighborhoods. How did we lose our way? How can we recover the bright hope of decades past?
Jesus gets this. He’s trying to help his travel-weary disciples get some rest from the crowds surging around them, but the people simply run ahead to meet them.
Jesus understands that something has gone terribly wrong. The basic needs of the people have not been met.
Understanding that HE is their most basic need, he takes the time to teach them many things. Finally, something has gone terribly right.
What do you long to have Jesus teach you?
Kathy McGovern ©2021