While in New Mexico this summer my friends Lauren and Amy and I drove into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains to attend Mass at the historic Santuario de Chimayó. It was Pentecost Sunday.
It was extremely important for the church of my youth to prove that every single miracle in the Bible be proven as an historical and scientific fact. A literal seven day creation, the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua making the sun stand still, and of course, there was the story of “Jonah and the Whale.”
Lately, my heart has been aching. I have walked through life in the brokenness of the inner city. I have seen the way poverty, pain, and lack of equal opportunities shatter the dreams of teens.
Many years ago when I was in elementary school, my family and I visited the Native American reservation in Cherokee, N.C. I remember many things about that trip, but there was one story I heard on that visit that has always been my strongest memory.
At my church, we pray every week. Sometimes, we pray silently. Sometimes, a pastor or deacon gives voice to our prayers, and we respond with “Amen.” Sometimes we recite the Lord’s Prayer together.
When this week’s text begins, things look pretty bleak for Jeremiah and the people of Judah. Jeremiah finds himself imprisoned by King Zedekiah, who is distressed by Jeremiah’s message of coming destruction.