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Image credit: J Cathcart

Walk talk and open up

Today’s reading centres around the prophetic saying of Jeremiah, in the section we have read Jeremiah spells out the consequences of living a self-centred life based on the adage, just do it - to hell with everyone else. He makes it clear that actions have consequences. It’s interesting how he describes such consequences as being written by an iron pen with a point as sharp as a diamond (see 17:1). In other words we need to be mindful that the way we live makes marks that shape outcomes in the world, consequences that are often long lasting. 

This passage is full of classic sayings that speak about the human condition. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, not a popular idea today, especially among psychologists and sociologists. We like to think that all things being equal human nature has a bias to do good. Jeremiah suggests the contrary, left to our own instincts we will do what suits us best. So where does this leave those of us who want to speak of an alternative way to live. Jeremiah suggests that it is by example that hearts and minds are won and heads are turned and lives changed. 

Tomorrow in Psalm 1 we will be reminded of the blessings that flow from planting the roots of our lives in fresh clean water. Meanwhile the passage ends with another classic reminder that it is God who judges a person’s motives. It is God who knows our thoughts and the real purpose of our intentions.  So walk and talk and open up your life to all kinds of people, be the example, but be careful about passing judgement, all may not be what it seems.

River-planted

Eternal ever present God of creation

You give me emotions

You give me freedom

To think

To decide

To reason

To speak

To live

Now give me faith

To be

To become

River-planted

To be a signpost of hope

Spreading out leaves

Of healing and forgiveness

To all who walk and talk 

Along the river of life

Jeremiah 17: 5-10

5 This is what the Lord says:

‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

7 ‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.’

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 ‘I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.’

 
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