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Sermons in this series
Sun, Nov 24, 2019
The Big Idea: Even as Jeremiah was beginning his exile in Egypt, he sent a letter to those who had been exiled to Babylon: “bloom where you are planted” says Jeremiah. God invited the people to “build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.” The people were not to live “on hold” but live fully in the midst of exile. Indeed, the Babylonian exile created the spread of the Jews far and wide as they grew and prospered right where they found themselves. God's plans for them and their own welfare turned out to be a blessing for the communities where Jews and Gentiles lived together.
Sun, Nov 10, 2019
The Big Idea: Jeremiah’s prophetic visions of hope in the midst of despair take a turn with what seems like a bizarre act: Jeremiah buys property from prison. In a time of overwhelming and seemingly never-ending death and destruction of his people and no assurance that he will ever be free again, Jeremiah chooses to plan for a restored future he cannot yet see. He puts the deeds in earthward jars, a common ancient practice for the safekeeping of important documents. No matter what, we are called to prophecy and safeguard the dream of a better future for all people.
Sun, Oct 27, 2019
The Big Idea: To journey with Jeremiah is not an easy task. So often we just want our grieving to be over for good. We want to move on to better news and arise out of a “funk” that seems to be lingering. But life doesn’t always work that way. Grief is something that comes back up out of the blue, especially when we just can’t seem to shake a string of difficult circumstances. Time has passed for God’s people and still they are exiled from their home land. But rather than hold back the tears, God’s words invite a “fountain of tears” that can become the healing balm so desperately needed in hard times.
Sun, Oct 13, 2019
The Big Idea: When we feel at our lowest about life, we, too, can feel alone and see life as a wasteland–or little broken pieces–with little to offer. In our Jeremiah journey this week, God looks at the state of affairs and despairs… and yet… God does not “end it.” Instead, God still calls them “MY people” and, like a parent despite being at their wits end, does not abandon.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019
The Big Idea: Probably the most well-known scripture from the Book of Jeremiah is one of hope for do-overs. This is the image of God as the potter who recognizes that the direction of the clay as it is being shaped is not going to bring out its best qualities and so begins to rework it on the wheel. As long as the clay is continually worked by the potter, it can still be changed and made into the most beautiful version of itself. God is frustrated with the people’s actions, but God also knows that the true nature of God’s people remains. And so God keeps faithfully working with what is available. Are we willing to be molded by the love of God, calling us to be the best version of ourselves possible?
Sun, Sep 22, 2019
The Big Idea: Water is life, as they say. Since the Neolithic age, humans have utilized cisterns to hold water from rainfall and runoff. Capturing the water and holding it for later use offered a guarantee and security that the people would survive times of drought. Jeremiah’s prophecy this week uses this analogy to speak of the dangers of not paying attention to the things that can sustain life for the long-haul in favor of things that are of less worth. What can we name for our time that is truly important but in danger of being neglected?
Sun, Sep 15, 2019
The Big Idea: “Jeremiah was a prophet…” that’s how the first line of that Three Dog Night song started, but the rest of the band didn’t like it. So Jeremiah became a bullfrog in the nonsensical song that became a hit in the 1970’s. However, that first line wasn’t so random. Bullfrog groups are called “choruses” because of their loud croaking. And prophets are called to be a mouthpiece, speaking up and speaking out in order to bring awareness to life lived without careful consideration of the consequences of our actions. How are we called to be prophets in the places where our messages are not heard or appreciated?
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