Today's Lectionary Text
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?” Recently someone at work asked me if I saw the severely damaged billboard sign on my way to work that day — a sign for which this business was responsible for its construction. I said, “No, I didn’t see it,” and he said, “How could you miss it when you drive right by it!?” This was sort of a wake-up call for me that I really have not been paying much attention to my surroundings or details as I should. So I have been trying to notice things more with my surroundings, with people whom I talk to or see every day, little and big details. I’ve started paying more attention to the many variety of birds on my bird feeders, especially during this bitter cold weather. I have noticed how my cats have certain play times that they enjoy and now I enjoy watching them. I notice an edge or a strain in the voice of a friend or coworker now and take the time to gently find out why and provide support or just a kind word when needed. I’ve rediscovered the delight and warm feeling of spending just a little more time with thanking the waiter/waitress or calling a friend whom I’ve not seen in a while.
What do you see? Jesus was talking prophetically in this Scripture to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah responded to what he saw. Jeremiah responded to what he saw because he “saw” it with every part of his being; Jeremiah was attuned to Jesus.
Perhaps if we often asked ourselves, “What do I see?,” we would be more attuned to what Jesus really wants us to see not with just our eyes, but with our hearts, our souls, our very being. If we truly “see” what Jesus wants us to see, we will follow Him, trust Him, love Him, and see through His eyes. Then as Jesus told Jeremiah—and tells us today — “I am with you and will rescue you.” Amen and Amen.
-- Judy Attebery
Certified Lay Servant
Nehawka, Nebraska, UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Dear Jesus, In our times of trouble, our times of neglect, our times of goodness, help us to always know you are with us through it all. Guide our eyes and our hearts to see what you want us to see. Let us see each day the needs of those around us, the glory of your Creation we look at every day but perhaps don’t really see, and to show your Light and Love to all we encounter each day. In the Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.
Editor's note: This devotional was originally published on Feb. 6, 2019.
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