Jeremiah is someone we will be hearing about throughout this month so a little background might be helpful. Jeremiah was born in the 600’s BCE and became a prophet in 625 BCE. It was a time when God’s people had violated their national covenant and gone after other gods, even embracing the practice of child sacrifice. It was also a time when other world powers in what is now Iraq (Assyria and Babylon) where conquering vast lands and creating empires.
Jeremiah preached repentance and a return to the God of Israel. Within his time, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated by Assyria with many of its people deported. Then Assyria was overthrown by Babylonia. Jeremiah’s call to repentance led to his being persecuted, ultimately arrested and imprisoned in a well But Jeremiah’s struggles led him to a new vision: that the God of Israel was also the God of all peoples. Persecuted for this, he lived to see the defeat of Judah by the Babylonians and the exiled of its leaders. He himself went into exile, probably into Egypt, where it is thought that he died.
Jeremiah’s message calls us to consider our own covenant and our faithfulness to God. Come along on the journey as we hear his words, so important today, as they were when first proclaimed.