When Jean and I went to her 50th class reunion at Yale Divinity School, we heard a wonderful sermon (by Phillip Turner I think) in which he described visiting and elderly woman in his congregation (I think she was in her 90s). She described how she lad recently given up reading the New York Times in favor of Jeremiah. She said, "The news is just as bad, but the perspective is different."
Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, Luke 24:5-6 (NKJV)
Holy Spirit, help us have this same confidence about all who have died in Christ.
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." But the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD. Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NKJV)
LORD, touch our mouths and give us your word to speak.
Thus says the LORD: "Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.' Jeremiah 6:16-17 (NKJV)
Father, we are a rebellious people; bring us back to you.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, "Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, 'Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD!' " Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, 'The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.' For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. Jeremiah 7:1-7 (NKJV)
Jesus, let your word come to us and soften our hearts.
"Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it," says the LORD. Jeremiah 7:8-11 (NKJV)
Holy Spirit, we have trusted in lying words; bring us back to the truth of your word to us.
A Word Received: Come to me; let me instruct you; let me soften your hearts.