I am sharing my thoughts in italics below each reading. I invite you to share your comments and ideas in the comments!
Jeremiah 11:18 - 20
18It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
then you showed me their evil deeds.
19But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
20But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.
- What is it that the Lord made known to Jeremiah? What it “their evil deeds” from the next line (which would fit within the Hebrew habit of stating things twice when writing poetically)? Or are we talking about something else?
- Two reflections on the verse where Jeremiah’s enemies hope to kill Jeremiah “so that his name will no longer be remembered:”
1) One of the lines of the recent Macklemore single “Glorious:” “I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave, and the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name.”
2) Historically, attempting to erase a person’s name was one way for an empire to strike back against a political enemy or a traitor. After arresting and likely killing the enemy or traitor, the empire would take the time to go through any writing or construction project which carried or bore that person’s name and would erase that name from the records, even chiseling that name off of stone arches, statues, and buildings.
1Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”