Planning for this Series
Week 3: Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
As mentioned in the first week of planning notes, Weeks 1 through 3 of this series are focused on the aspects of humanity’s unfaithfulness that’s being “called out” by the prophet Jeremiah. This is the final week of that first movement, and it will lead to next week’s focus on repentance and the final week’s focus on God’s renewal. It is important to mention that even though there is a more negative and/or dreary focus to the first few weeks of the series (at least in terms of the focus Scriptures), the entire tone of the service does not need to reflect that. Be sure to balance your services with praise and thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness (even in the midst of our waywardness), especially as you highlight the introspective components.
If last week’s focus was about a “warning,” then this week’s passage is a colorful example of how that warning could play out. Through Jeremiah as God’s mouthpiece, God communicates images of devastation and desolation, which have ecological implications. If you have a “creation care team,” “green team,” or any other type of sustainability-oriented teams or members in the congregation, this would be a great time to feature them in aspects of worship leadership.
When we look at this Scripture passage ecologically, it is clear that our human waywardness/sinfulness has negative implications for the future of the natural world. Encourage the congregation to examine their practices (and growth areas) related to the stewardship of the earth’s resources this week. Have them work toward incremental change.
Written by guest writer, Nelson Cowan, Ph.D. Liturgical Studies: Boston University School of Theology.