Repent, confess and forsake evil ways
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?’”
– Jeremiah 32:26-27
Two weeks ago, on the eve of Pentecost, Prince Harry and former American actress, Meghan Markle were joined in holy matrimony at Windsor Castle while 600 invited guests in the cathedral, some 2,000 plus on the lawn outside and some 1.6 billion people globally watching live telecast, saw and heard them pledge their love to each other.
The Dean of Windsor conducted the service with Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of the Anglican Church, overseeing the exchange of the marriage vows.
Marriage is commended of St. Paul to be honorable among all and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly, or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God. If this is not the case, the opportunity or question is put to congregation, bride and groom, to stand and speak up why there should not be a ceremony. When no objection is voiced from those assembled, the bride or the groom, the command is given to resort from sighing, whining and complaining. Sometimes I think with the rise in divorces, the priest or pastor needs to conduct marriage ceremonies in real talk language: “Are you ready to stick and stay, or are you just here for four things — money, show, to get ready and to go and get lost!”
But what a marriage for a time such as this when all and sundry have been duly notified spiritually, that there is power in love, no matter what, and absolutely nothing is impossible with God. Ask the Virgin Mary and she will gladly tell you the story of where God took her from, to where she is now in the plan of God’s salvation for lost mankind. He that is mighty hath done great things.
In our lesson text today, God is asking mankind a serious question: Is there anything too hard for me? The prophet Jeremiah did not have a lazy tongue. He pronounced startling and provocative words about the house of the Lord and the city of Jerusalem. He told them because of their sin, God is bringing judgment upon the people. It was a time of sorrow, pain, death and destruction. But the people refused to hear Jeremiah’s message calling for repentance, and had no desire to hear anything from God or his messenger.
For almost 50 years, Jeremiah continued with his call to repentance with hardly a convert. It was a tragic and final time for the nation of Israel, and God commanded Jeremiah to tell them that their nation would be invaded and they would be taken away captive.
Because of Jeremiah’s forceful preaching he was not popular in the nation and as a result was arrested and thrown in prison by King Zedekiah for the truth of the condition of the nation. But, it was in prison that a word of hope, blessing and promise came, in spite of the captivity of the people and the taking away of their land.
Jeremiah’s prayer to God for restoration of all that was lost was: “Sovereign Lord, you made the earth and the sky by your great power and might; nothing is too difficult for you. You have shown constant love to thousands but you also punish people for the sins of their parents. You are a great and powerful God; you are the Lord Almighty. You make wise plans and do mighty things, you see everything that people do and you reward them according to their actions.
“Long ago you performed miracles and wonders in Egypt, and you have continued to perform them to this day, both in Israel and among all the other nations so that you are now known everywhere. You used your power and might to bring your people out of Egypt. You gave them this rich and fertile land as you had promised their ancestors. But when they came into this land and took possession of it, they did not obey your commands or live according to your teaching. They did nothing that you had ordered them to do and so you brought all this destruction on them.”
Although God brought destruction because of disobedience, because they repented of their sins and errant ways, he promised them an eternal covenant with them: “I will never stop doing good things for them, and I will make them fear me with all their heart, so that they will never turn away from me. I will take pleasure in doing good things for them and I will establish them permanently in this land.”
My dear readers, we are no different from the people in Jeremiah’s days. We have turned away from God and are experiencing tough times spiritually, economically, educationally, socially and culturally. The family, the church, the nation and individuals are having tough times, but nothing is too hard for God to accomplish.
Nothing is too hard for God even if it seems that you are becoming strangers in your own land, for it was the order of the day for nations to invade and take over, but God was able to intervene and restore the land back to the people. Never forget that the earth is the Lord’s, the people and the fullness thereof, and only God can rearrange that which has been put to disorder. But we will have to repent, confess and forsake evil ways.
We thank you Father God for making our impossibilities, possible. Indeed you are a great God.