for Sept 2, 2007 (Proper 17)
Jeremiah says, “Cross over to the coasts of Kittim (now Cyprus) and look, send to Kedar (now Jordan) and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this.” The ‘like this’ refers to the southern kingdom of Judah’s rejection of the birthright of its faith. Jeremiah is saying, “Look, all these other nations, who serve false gods, have managed to hang on to theirs. What is wrong with you?!”
What was wrong with them is what is wrong with us. We are sinners. Sinners don’t act in their own interest because they are so profoundly lost. You’ve encountered people like this. Drug addicts and other addicts fall into this category.
“Well… thank goodness I’m not one of them!” What do you mean? A drug addict or a sinner? Remember, it’s the problem of sin that is at issue here.
We forsake our spiritual birthright individually when we succumb to narcicissm, hedonism, or materialism. Translation: living a life focused on yourself in which you spend all your money in a lust for more entertainment. Know anyone like this?
We forsake our spiritual birthright corporately when we succumb to corporatism and populism in our churches. Is the point of the gospel that the church should be run more like successful corporations, or that the people running corporations should be encouraged to conduct themselves more like Jesus? Is the point of the gospel to maximize Sunday attendance (we’ve got to pay for this building) or to save lives and change lives, and transform communities?
Fellow disciples of Christ, let us remember our birthright.