Daily Worship

The Time Lord will see you now…

September 05, 2017 0 0
Image credit: Pixabay

Jeremiah 15: 15-21

15 O Lord, you know;
    remember me and visit me,
    and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
    know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
    O Lord, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
    nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
    for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
    my wound incurable,
    refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
    like waters that fail.

19 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
    and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
    you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
    not you who will turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
    a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
    but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
    to save you and deliver you,
says the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
    and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

A standout idea for me in ‘Doctor Who’ comes in a Christmas special, ‘The Runaway Bride’. Catherine Tate (in a guest appearance before her casting as a regular, Donna) looks at the Doctor (played by David Tennant), as he stands in the midst of the destruction of an alien race - having given them the chance to leave humanity alone - and she says ‘Doctor - you can stop now’. Later she advises him - though turning down the chance to travel with him - that he needs to find someone. ‘I don’t need anyone’, he says. Donna responds ‘Yes you do… I think you need someone to stop you.’

This Doctor is sensitive to the recent absolute loss of his close friend and travelling companion Rose, and seems on occasion to be a bit of a ‘vengeful god’, using his knowledge and power on the side of humanity, but not always in a way that we the viewer would find entirely moral.

Perhaps the experience of war and genocide, followed by the loss of a close relationship, may be seen as mitigating factors. Perhaps having lost his own people and planet, he is entitled to feel strongly about defending his adopted home, Earth. He has no superior authority to appeal to or take instruction from; in a sense he is a godlike being to humans (or at least a demigod).

Jeremiah on the other hand, complains to God over his persecution and suffering, over the people of God persisting in their sin and rebellion. He too is hurting, in a way that seems incurable.

God’s response has parallels to Donna’s - God does not wish Jeremiah to become like those he opposes, ’You must influence them; do not let them influence you’ (v19). Donna similarly, does not want the Doctor to be influenced by those he is fighting against, but by one who is by his side - just as God calls Jeremiah to return and remain by God’s side. By his good words and faithfulness, Jeremiah will remain strong and unconquered, serving God for good.

Save us, dear Lord,
from ourselves.
Save us from thinking our moral compass is perfectly calibrated,
pointing to your ways, instead of to our biases and preconceptions.

Save us, by keeping us by your side,
and keeping good people by ours.
Save us, from becoming the traits we oppose,
from inflicting our damage onward to others.

Challenge us by the faithful wounds of friends.

Help us hear words of warning,
the good words, not the worthless ones.

Save us, dear Lord.