November 2016

Sacred Discussion Group 5th November 2016

We met on the morning of Bonfire Night, a very busy day, it was good to begin the day with friends and to extend the morning into our now, well established, discussion group. We had only one book of the Bible to focus on last month, the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.

There is an old saying about people behaving just like Jeremiah, it is normally a derogatory term for someone who is dismal. Jeremiah was a reluctant prophet, his initial response to God was to say, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child”.

However Jeremiah grew into a faithful servant of God, not giving up on delivering his message of repentance to those who would listen and those who wouldn’t.

In our deliberations we talked of Jeremiah’s persistence and the message of hope that runs throughout the first thirty chapters. The message of hope can sometimes be overlooked in the repetitious way that the book is written, probably to re-inforce the message for those who had to learn from the spoken word as the written word was not widely available. For those of us who had persisted in our reading the joy of getting to know Jeremiah, a true Prophet, was well worth the effort.

Our new Bishop of Lichfield, Michael, as he celebrated one hundred and fifty years of the re-introduction of Lay Reader Ministry in the Cathedral the week before had spoken of his encouragement for all followers of Jesus to never stop reading, learning and growing in faith on our journey.

As we examined the message of Jeremiah we noted that really nothing has changed in the world in 4000 years as much of the world still tends to ignore God’s message of salvation for those who come to him in love; there are disagreements over Brexit, wars causing death and injury in Syria and Iraq, there is fear and danger in the world.

God is a God of love and disciplines his erring children out of love as does any loving parent, God wants to teach and guide us into a better path, a path that leads to eternal joy in heaven. In Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11, God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

John Henry Newman wrote in a well-known hymn, Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on; The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead thou me on. Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.

As we continue our journey, one step at a time, you are welcome to join us when we meet again for breakfast at 8.30 on Saturday 3rd December.