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December: “Days Are Coming:” Waiting with Jeremiah

I am a Jeremiah scholar (albeit more by circumstance than conviction to begin with), yet in 14 or so years at Christ Church, Pittsford, I have never once dedicated a series to this book alone. My reasons are several. It is the longest book in the Bible (counting by verses, that is, and ignoring the Psalms)—a full semester on this book barely scratches its surface, let alone three Sundays. Add to this the fact that it is extraordinarily complicated (to the point of incoherence, some might say). And what can be fathomed is largely bleak and curse-filled anyway.

In short, since Jeremiah is neither the easiest nor the most edifying read, why would I inflict it on you all? Well, now that I am leaving, it seems timely to do so. But this would be more than a meanspirited hit and run. Despite what I have said so far, Jeremiah offers a remarkable example of the innovations (theological, political, and technological) necessary for a community to survive. And as such, it forms a resource for religious innovations to follow, including the establishment of a Church. To read Jeremiah is to wait and see what new things could possibly—just possibly—occur.

  • December 4 “The Words of Jeremiah:” A heady mix of curses and puns.

  • December 11 “Terror all around:” The voices of those under siege.

  • December 18 “A New Covenant:” New lamps for old both at home and abroad.

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