Thoughts for Wednesday 24th June 2020

Psalm 86:11-17; Jeremiah 42:18-22; Matthew 10:5-23

 

Wednesday 24 June  - Rev.  Jerry  Eve

 

Jeremiah 37-44 is like a book within a book. Framed by references to the writings at 36:32 and 45:1 of Jeremiah’s secretary, who was called Baruch, it is not a happy tale. A continuous narrative, Baruch himself is mentioned at 43:3-6 as someone whose fate is bound up with that of Jeremiah himself. And yet someone who was spared the ignominy of imprisonment that befell his employer, Jeremiah, as he was placed, first of all in an underground cell in Jonathan, the court secretary’s, house; before then being imprisoned in the Palace Courtyard. For a short time he was even lowered down into a well and left to starve.

 

His crime was to prophesy against successive kings of Judah, and let them know that what they were doing was wrong; and that it would lead to their destruction. He was right about King Jeoiachin, who was taken away to Babylon in c.597 BC; he was right about King Zedekiah, who was taken away to Babylon in 587 BC; and he’s right here in this passage as well when the remainder of the Jerusalemite elite, who have managed to remain at large, ask him to pray, and to prophesy, for them.

 

They too become angry with him, so much so that when they do go to seek refuge in Egypt (which they’d intended to do all along, but which Jeremiah counselled them against) they take him and Baruch along with them. Where we presume they all did die, either in war or of starvation or disease.

 

Jeremiah, of course, has become a byword for ‘misery’, but if there is a lesson to be learned from this passage then it’s probably that if God does give you a ‘word in season’ (Proverbs 15:23) then it’s probably worthwhile heeding it.

 

Our New Testament passage reminds me of Stan Brock (1936-2018). From Swansea originally, when he was 17 he went to Guyana (then British Guiana) to work on a cattle ranch. Subsequently he become a pilot  and presented an extremely successful natural history programme on American television; he acted in films and wrote books as well, including one called ‘All the Cowboys were Indians’ which was about his ranching days.

 

Once though when he had an accident in Guyana he realised for the first time how far away he was from any medical assistance (26 days walk), and so later on in life he founded ‘Remote Area Medical’, which provided temporary field hospitals in parts of the developing world, and then later on in the USA as well for those there who are uninsured.

 

And the reason I’m reminded of Stan is that while, it seems to me, he did so very much of what Christ asks his twelve disciples to do in Matthew 10, he himself – as Christ also tells his apostles – neither had any money, nor an income, nor even a bank account. He worked 365 days a year, and wherever he was he would roll out his sleeping mat, and would eat some of the (mainly porridge and fruit) that was being provided, in whichever hospital he was working in, for volunteer members of staff. The work of RAM continues to this day.

 

Let us pray:

 

Do all the good you can

By all the means you can

In all the ways you can

In all the places you can

At all the times you can

To all the people you can

As long as ever you can,

 

Amen (John Wesley).


Printer Printable Version
Page last updated: 24th June 2020 9:48 AM