Expect Desolation – Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28

11At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse-12a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them.

22“For my people are foolish, they do not know me; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but do not know how to do good.”

23I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. 24I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. 26I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger.

27For thus says the LORD: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. 28Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Let you focus shift to a place in the world where God’s people are turned away from God.
  • Turned away from God, how are God’s people also turned away from neighbor and self?
  • Notice how the earth mourns when God’s people turn away from God.
  • Notice God’s love for God’s people. God is not turned away. God will not make a full end.
  • Imagine God’s delight when God’s people return to God.
  • What needs to be surrendered in this time of desolation?
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 15, 2019, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Psalm 14:1-7
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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