The reading from Jeremiah concerns the delivering a message of defeat. Jeremiah had a difficult job. He had to tell the people of Israel that their government, social, and religious institutions had neglected the issue of social justice that only the outsider, Nebuchadnezzar, could dismantle it. Only then could the nation, lead by the people. start over fresh. This offers some insight for us in light of the political conditions we see in our country today. Many people today believe change is needed in our Congress, in Washington D.C., the religious right, and Wall Street. They are incapable of reforming themselves. A society that cannot care for the widows, orphans, or the poor of society are corrupt. An outside force may be necessary to create change. This was a difficult message for both us and Jeremiah.
The people back in Jeremiah’s time found it hard to believe that losing to Nebuchadnezzar was God’s work. Jeremiah was not vouching for the character of Nebuchadnezzar though. Nebuchadnezzar was not a great person but he served a purpose. Rev. Shockley speaks to prepare us and invite us to consider how to live on the losing side of our upcoming election. What do we do if we find ourselves living in exile? Despite feelings of depression and disbelief, we must carry on. Jeremiah gives a message of perseverance and hope to the exiles. We must continue to live and be who we are. We must pray for the victors to succeed. Continue to follow your faith. Continue to seek to the welfare of society. It is not the end of the story. God will rescue you from exile.