For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:13-14)
From the least to the greatest, the prophet Jeremiah declares, there is not a person who is without sin. There is a common characteristic among every great preacher and teacher; the most talented musicians, singers and artisans; those with years of specialized education and those who have no formal education; faithful worshippers and those who have never entered a church. The commonality is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23. Despite the honors and accolades, the wealth and status one may acquire on earth, all still fall short of God’s glory.
One way we fall short, according to the prophet Jeremiah, is by dealing falsely – by ignoring or mistreating God’s wounded people. Is it enough to commit ourselves to pray and worship, if we do not allow that worship to move us into service in the world? People all around us suffer from many physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wounds. Christ is indeed a healer and he invites us to offer his healing presence to others. To follow the way of Christ is to become a healing presence among those who are hurting in the world. This Lenten season, we are called to be attentive to our personal brokenness – our sin, our wounds -- so that we may seek God’s healing in our lives, which better positions us to offer true peace to God’s wounded people.
God of peace, we thank you for sacrificing your son, Jesus Christ, who heals all our wounds. Help us to be witnesses of your great and generous love in word and deed. Amen