For He is our peace, 16 Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018

Friends, we know it's very hard to keep one’s faith alive in our time, especially as many strong believers lose their faith and live as if they had never known the Lord. We live in a world far from God. We find people who have the sole purpose in their lives to enjoy everything they can in this short life on earth. They completely forget that their real goal in life is to enter the kingdom of heaven. We live in a changed time with no reference to holiness of life. It cannot be taken for granted today that those who regularly visit worship or church services really believe in the word of God or live for it. We are looking for peace in the wrong places. Only a few are convinced that the Lord is our peace. Therefore, we have a responsibility to continually proclaim and testify of the gospel message.

The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the leaders of the people, both religious and political leaders. It was a message similar to what we heard last week from the prophet Amos to Israel. Times of success and satisfaction made the people forgot their God and lived in indifference to God and his words. Today, it is the turn of the Jews to hear what God addresses to them through Jeremiah. Despite the incredible and mighty things God did for them, they did not listen to him.

For forty years, the prophet Jeremiah warned the Jewish people not to abandon God's ordinances. Jeremiah is also called 'crying prophet' because he had great compassion with the people of Judah like God. He wept for them and wanted them to listen to avoid the tragedy that would fall upon them. Many laughed at him and wanted to kill him. I am particularly comforted by Jeremiah in my ministry. He never gave up no matter the opposition he met in witnessing to the power of God.

Israel and Judah had denied God and said, "The Lord does not mean anything" (Jeremiah 5:12). Israel and Judah must repent. Jeremiah warned King Sidkiah not to betray King Nebuchadnezzar or to revolt against him and his armies because the consequences would be huge. The people refused to worship God. Sidkia did not listen, so it had incredible consequences for all the people. They were taken in exile and deprived of their freedom for 70 years. Sidkia believed he could do as he wanted. But he became humiliated by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king. Yet God did not forget his people. He remained their peace and righteousness.

The Lord would once again gather the remnants of his people. They will multiply and experience success once again. God will not forget his people but let them come with a righteous…

Webbdesign: Peter Tynkkynen