Jeremiah 10:21, “For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they shall not prosper, And all their flocks shall be scattered.”
Jeremiah 33:12, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.'”
You know that old adage that, “if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it?” When I was a much younger man, I actually thought that this only applied to the secular world. Since the time so long ago, I have had reason to look and consider not only the reason that Christ Jesus originally came to walk in this natural world, but also the timing with which He came.
I see what history tells us of His chosen people and I also understand that He had a time-table, a schedule in which our Heavenly Father had everything planned out. I have read some of the writings of the first century historian, Josephus, which is helpful in understanding some of the customs and events of the time surrounding Jesus’ birth.
I have also read the book of Jeremiah quite a bit and I could truly understand why he was given the moniker of “the weeping prophet” because of his great love for his and God’s people. In the time of his writing and especially about the “shepherd’s” of his day and their straying from the truth, until the time that Jesus started His ministry of sharing the truth of the Living Word and having to deal with the Pharisees, the “religious leaders” of His day and their schemes of always trying to trip Him up concerning something that He was teaching or sharing with the multitudes, the situation in the “centers of religion” only worsened.
Now speed ahead through history until we are a couple of thousand years in the future and it appears we are ripe for Christ’s return once again. Why, you may ask? Very simply because of the things that the “religious leaders” and modern day “Pharisees” are teaching from the modern day “religious centers” which appears to be a complete 360 degree return to the time of two thousand years ago.
Yes, you would think that our modern day religious leaders have returned us to the time of the pharisaical circumstances. It’s apparent that Jeremiah wasn’t just weeping for the spiritual direction of his time, he also was very prophetic of a future time that we now live in.
It amazes me as a Pastor that so many who at least carry the same Bible as you and I, have taken the Word of God and accomplished the very same thing as the Jewish religious leaders of two thousand years ago; AND even though so many don’t see it, they would rather scoff if you even mention taking the Good News and the Message of Love and Hope outside of their established “brick and mortar” organizations.
You see, relationship IS important, very important and especially if you are a “member” of their congregation, but be it far from those very leaders if a Baptist were to fellowship with a Pentecostal, or a Lutheran with a Catholic or Methodist, or Heaven forbid a Presbyterian etc.!
Then to top it off, most of the news reporting media tell us that 84% of Americans in the U.S.A. consider themselves to be Christian (followers/disciples of Jesus Christ?) because they are American citizens and America is a “Christian” nation and/or they believe in a “god” or a “supreme” being! Yep, the time is definitely ripe for a “comeback” or return of Christ Jesus!
But take heart, my brothers and sisters for there is a great change coming of which I have been hearing little hints of here and there; AND it deals with a belief in relationship! It’s not labels, “laws” or the do’s and don’ts, but just like Christ Jesus stated and demonstrated it’s based in having a relationship or communion, with God our Heavenly Father and with one another!
I’ve heard of a movement that is happening around the world today being spurned on by different types of media, written, blogging and social media sites. So many of those claiming to “be a part” have written informative and encouraging “letters”, sometimes called blogs, hinting at the wonders of this new communion! Many are calling this new movement, simply “The Church” though some call it “The Body of Christ” or the “Bride” as it were.
Even though I haven’t been behind a pulpit in a while due to physical limitations, as a Pastor I am really “feeling” particularly drawn to this new movement and have actually found others already a part of this growing phenomenon! It is known for its unconditional approach to the active loving of God and others rather than based merely on feelings. It isn’t wrapped in “brick and mortar” and the people seem to be very active with those less fortunate than themselves.
In actuality to me it sounds rather intriguing and I would really invite you to check it out also!! Beware though, there are those that are threatened by it and can speak out very strongly against the radical nature of the movement. There have been veiled threats that it could be a dangerous movement, unseating those that covet power and prestige.
Anyway, as I’ve been told, you will definitely be loved and accepted by others in this movement, and the best part, unconditionally, free from condemnation. It’s also been stated that even if you stumble, there are so many who will offer a hand up and offer prayers freely and get this, FORGIVENESS!!
I truly hope and pray you will consider looking into what some are calling a very radical movement! My understanding is that the foundation is what is termed Agape or unconditional Godly love that is empowered by (dare I say it) the Holy Spirit! You can see why some are calling it radical but for right now, I pray that God will bless you abundantly, and especially as you continue to point out the hope and assurance guaranteed with this new concept!!
Please share with as many as possible that they also may join is this God-based movement and can share in communion the joy and blessings of such a unique movement!
This was inspired by an article by Brother John Pavlovitz at the following link: Maybe I’m Actually Not a Christian After All