Readings for the Week of September 1

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Readings for September 1

“. . . for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.” ~ Jeremiah 2:13

When God speaks through Jeremiah, he takes Israel to task. They will soon be sent into exile in Babylon. God speaks to them as one betrayed. He points out that their wrong doing is not limited to their betrayal but includes their replacing God with “cisterns that can hold no water.” From God’s perspective, the people of Israel have made up their own religion and it is not worth Israel’s time, and certainly not God’s.

One definition of religion comes from the root word, ligare which suggests the idea of “reconnection”. Healthy religion reconnects, reconciles, and restores people to one another. Above all, religion is to restore people to God. In Jeremiah, God’s people have created systems which do none of the above. God’s response is on behalf of both those who hurt themselves and those their “leaky cisterns” hurt.

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good
things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in
us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth
in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill