Living Lent – Day 18

Read… Jeremiah 23: 5-8

And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Last Easter a new young adults home group began – it is called CATCH, which is a Mnemonic for Creating A Transformational CHurch. It is not just a name and a snappy title; it is a declaration of intent. But today’s passage from Jeremiah is one that reminds me to remember “who” it is that is doing the creating. It is all too easy to spend our lives consumed by the idea that it is us that does the creating, when, in fact, it is and always was God who is the creator.

The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous branch, a King who will reign wisely…”

Note the placement of the pronoun “I” – it is God who will do the raising up. It is the Lord who, in verse 7, brings the people out of Egypt. And when Jesus addresses Peter in Matthew 16:18 He declares Peter’s identity – the rock – but in the same sentence affirms that it is Jesus who will build His Church.

Names matter – they are important – they declare a purpose, a direction, an intent; but ultimately, it is God who is the Creator, Jesus who transforms lives, and only through the power of His Spirit will we ever succeed in building His Church. God made us in His image, to be creative, but it is He who always was, and always will be the Creator.

A Prayer: Lord, as we seek to build your Church, transform us by the power of Your Spirit, make us living stones, ready to serve your purposes, that we too may be a part of the transforming power of the one You raised up.

Ponder… What does it mean today to be people of justice and righteousness?

Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY Pray for our young adults. We are lucky to have a growing group of young adults in our church, and we thank God for their creativity, enthusiasm and commitment. We pray for their vital role in linking different groups within our community and their developing leadership within the church and its worship. FOR THE WORLD Pray for vulnerable young adults in our world. Pray that they may be protected from extremist views, and equipped with the courage and strength to defend their own beliefs whilst showing tolerance and respect for others.

Act… Try something new, for example a new food.