“In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord is Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:6)
The prophets often preached doom and gloom. Things were pretty bad after all. And the people were walking around doing their own things. And these prophets brought the word that if they didn’t live as God’s people, they were going to ………. well, you know.
And right in the middle of telling the people they’d better get their acts together, Jeremiah stops and says, “Hey, things will get better when we get better.” God is a righteous judge, he tells them. Just try!
During this whole season of Epiphany, as we celebrate the Light of the World, we need to remember those prophetic words. If we try to live as God’s people, God will judge us with righteousness. We don’t have to be perfect, we simply have to try.
There’s hope in that message! God loves us so much that even with our imperfections and failings, we will live in safety. That’s because God’s judgement is not the judgement of people. It’s not the judgement of the courts of law. It’s the judgement of love.
And that’s good news!