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    The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord.  Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.  Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

    “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

    “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.  Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?  Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.

    Jeremiah 7:1-11

    When you think about a prophet, do you usually think about kind words coming out of his or her mouth?  Often times, contemporary society paints prophets to be doom and gloom sort of people.

    In a difficult chapter of Judah’s national history, the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel said through Jeremiah, “Amend your ways and your doing and let me dwell with you in this place.”

    When injustice happens and when innocent blood is shed and when oppression occurs, the Lord is not found in that place.  Even if they think of themselves as holy because of their rituals, God calls for them to amend their ways and let him dwell with them.

    God wants to dwell with us—isn’t that shocking?

    Jesus calls each and every one of us to repent (to turn away from our unjust actions) and seek the Kingdom.

    Repent and reclaim the mantle of the Beloved child of God.

    Photo Credit: 棟樑‧Harry‧黃基峰‧Taiwan via Compfight cc