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The Rev. Scott Murray
An interesting twist to Jeremiah's story is
that he is directing his thoughts to the sons, or rather, sons
and daughters. what I mean is that often the OT speaks of sins
of the fathers being visited upon the sons.
Yet here, we have the sons coming to grips with their lostness,
their faithlessness. They understand that they have lost grip
upon the only relationship that matters. As an aside, it is almost
like the story of the prodigal son. It's about waking up. Turning.
What the bible says is repentance is turning, coming to a new
mind, have a flash of recognition of seeing things from God's
point of view. And just what is God's point of view?
Several years I was watching a tv program, a kind of funny home
video genre which also had a segment called video postcards. Here
families (often country families) would send a quick note to children
who had gone off to the big city. Often very cute and humorous,
but that night it was different. Here was a barber sending a note
to his son, apologizing for the fight they had 12 years. No contact
from his son since then, he was begging his son to get back in
touch with him. 12 years! My heart was torn. How can there be
families like that? How can a child not want to talk with a parent
or visa versa? But it happens all too often. But how heart broken
that man seemed.
And so I recalled this story as I heard Jeremiah's plot. And it
is clear to see (of course, we are projecting human emotions upon
God, but that is the best we can ever do) that God is misses us.
We walk way, we break contact with God, and in a very real sense,
the God of the universe doesn't know how to get back in touch
with us. We have dropped off of God's radar. And as a father myself,
I can empathize with, not only the video postcard father, but
also with the heavenly one as well, the emotion of estrangement.
That is what happens in repentance, coming to understand things
from a new and right perspective.