September 19, 2019

You Are Among Us, Lord, and We Bear Your Name

September 19, 2019


Psalm 79:1-9
Jeremiah 12:14—13:11
Romans 3:1-8
This weekend’s scripture:Proverbs 17:19-22


Some of us grew up learning the catechism, likely one based on teachings of Luther or Calvin. Both have several questions in common. The one I remember asks, “What is the chief end of every human being?” Here “end” means purpose; for what end did God create us? And the answer: “Our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy God forever.” It’s good to remember this when we read Scripture that refers to the “end times” as we did on Tuesday. The “end times” signify a time when we are free to live out our purpose to the fullest, to glorify and enjoy God forever.

How does this relate to the strange story of Jeremiah’s linen girdle or belt? Perhaps the hiding of the girdle helps the prophet see that as long as an object serves its intended purpose, it remains good and useful. When the girdle is hidden away in a mountain crevice, it is ruined and no longer of any use. Something like this can happen to us if we hide from engagement with others and forsake our purpose—like the man in Jesus’ parable who buries his talent. Are we afraid or unwilling to take the risks involved in glorifying God by loving and serving others in God’s name?

Jeremiah pleads, “You are among us, Lord, and we bear your name; do not forsake us! . . .
Therefore, our hope is in you” (Jer 14:9, 22). God’s willingness to start over with us—to make a new covenant written on our hearts—soon becomes clear to Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-33). Paul assures us of the endurance of God’s promises in Romans. Whatever we do or don’t do, God’s faithfulness remains unshakable. “God’s very words” were entrusted first to the Jews, and God will never forsake God’s people. God will still be true even when others lie. God’s faithfulness outlasts human unfaithfulness (Rom 3:2-4).


  • Sing or read together this familiar hymn: “Great is thy faithfulness” (UMH #140), based on another scripture sometimes attributed to Jeremiah: Lamentations 3:22-24.
  • How does God’s faithfulness lead to “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” in your life?


  • Why did God create you?
  • What does God expect from you?


God our Creator, we carry your covenant, written on our hearts. You have promised not to give up on us and to be with us and give us new mercies every morning. We thank you for providing all that we need that we may love and serve you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.