Closer than Our Own Selves – Br. Lain Wilson

Jeremiah 20:7-13
Psalm 18:1-7

What do you do when all options in front of you are bad ones?

This is the situation that Jeremiah finds himself in this morning. God has called him to his vocation as a prophet, to proclaim God’s word. In doing so, Jeremiah is mocked and plotted against, even by those close to him. In not proclaiming God’s word, though, he experiences pain, “something like a burning fire” (Jer 20:9).

All this because of who God has called him to be.

Is it any surprise, then, that Jeremiah hurls against God one of the bitterest invectives in Scripture? Different translations have different force—“O Lord, you have enticed me,” “you have seduced me,” “you have deceived me” (Jer 20:7)—but the basic accusation is that God has broken trust, that God has forced the prophet into submission.[1]

This is an accusation you can only hurl against someone you deeply love.

And it is, perhaps, something that we can relate to.

God calls each of us in ways that we may not understand, that we struggle to accept, that we may rail against. Our vocations, our experiences, our very lives may be excruciating mysteries to us. For reasons beyond our understanding, we may, like Jeremiah, end up in places and at times asking ourselves, “how did this come to be,” able only to cry to God, “Is this what you intend for me?” Read More

Come to me – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

It may come as a surprise to many that Jesus was not successful, at least in the ways in which we are inclined to measure “success.” He was a wise teacher and a miracle-worker, and at times he drew large crowds.  But he also encountered opposition, right from the very start of his ministry, and from the most religious people of his day.  Most people were simply indifferent.  When the crowds realized that he wasn’t what they expected him to be, and that he wouldn’t do what they expected or hoped he would do, they turned away.  And not all who were attracted by his clever stories and powerful deeds became faithful followers.  Even his closest, most trusted friends often disappointed him, and abandoned him when times got tough.  He died alone, except for a few faithful women who stayed to the end.

In today’s gospel, we get a glimpse of the frustration he felt from time to time when he encountered the indifference of the crowds and the opposition of religious leaders.  “To what will I compare this generation?” Jesus asks.  “It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance,
We wailed, and you did not mourn.'” Read More