My Bible Challenge blog is usually more spiritualized than topical, but this morning, reading Jeremiah’s continuing litany of oracles against the nations, I could not help but wonder where we fit in:

Jeremiah 48:33 Gladness and joy have been taken away from the fruitful land of Moab; I have stopped the wine from the wine presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy; the shouting is not the shout of joy.

On a more serious note, I am writing this as the city of Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri, is struggling through its second week of troubles following the shooting death of a black teenager at the gun of a white police officer, with all of the power disparity and racial discomfort and disconnect that such a sentence implies. Reading Jeremiah’s litany of destruction, I wonder how we could ever have thought that we could be exempt from the judgement that befalls the nations that are too proud, too cold, too haughty to care for their own, their little ones, their children. The prophets speak of infidelity and idolatry; we too are guilty of blasphemy when we disown, disparage, demean by our words, by our actions, by the actions of our systems, the systems that we uphold with our money and our votes and our blind eyes; we are guilty of blasphemy when we disinherit or disavow anyone who is made in the image of God.

Thus says Jeremiah: their shouting is not the shout of joy. 

Will we repent? 

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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