Many Christians expect their relationship with God to be somewhat prim and proper.
Jeremiah, in this Sunday’s first reading, is caught up in something much more passionate and engaging than is common.
He feels he has been seduced, indeed ravished, by God. Indeed, he also feels that God has used him and cast him aside, or at least is very much aware that everyone else seems to think that, and he is humiliated by that and somewhat persuaded that they might be right.
And yet, there is still a certain fire in him, passion for the Lord.
It would be a mistake to think that Jeremiah was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Rather his relationship with God has roots deeper and thirstier for God than he knows. Jeremiah has some way to go in his relationship with the Lord – and his neighbours. He lives in challenging times but the love of the Lord will sustain him and free him.
20.7 O LORD, you have deceived me,
and I was deceived;
you are stronger than I,
and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all the day;
everyone mocks me.
8 For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the LORD has become for me
a reproach and derision all day long.
9 If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photo: (c) 2007, Allen Morris. Detail of ambo, French church, Leicester Square, London.