2 Tim 3:14-4:5
by Revd Jaiye Edu, Nigeria / London
Old Testament reading / Psalm
The theme here is cultivation of new order. The passage uses images and symbols of a gardening and cultivation: sow and seed of human and animals (Jeremiah 31:270, to plant (v28), grapes (v30). God shows himself as someone who cultivated and grows and grows and weeds out those things that are rotten and bad and not productive.
Early in the Old Testament in Genesis, God planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2.8). God is intimately involved with his creation: humankind and animals, trees, plants and all vegetation and all fruits.
Here in Jeremiah God will cultivate and build a new House of Israel and Judah with the seeds of mankind and animals is likened to the cultivation of a field. It is done with care and love and with patience. The new nation with be his and the people will have his laws written on their hearts. The law of God is the Torah – the commandments to love one another and all creation and to seek justice so that all those who have the law written in their hearts will know God for he will have forgiven them for their sins and wickedness. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Theme of persistence in prayer and seeking the justice. This is a story of salvation. The widow is persistent is expressing her needs. She kept asking for divine help and kept praying. She kept believing God and in due course she seeds in the process and gets saved/ gets justice from the judge, parable tells us that God always hears the cries and pleas of his people and will surely act. But as in Luke 18:8 God wonders whether people have enough faith to believe that God will always enact justice. What is required is faith in the power of persistence. Do not give up.
Luke 18:8 refers to the second coming of Christ. When he comes will he be ready he asks. Do will have the stamina to endure the temptations and sufferings of this world with faith and patient endurance so that when Christ come she will find us faithful and justify us.
Sermon and Application:
Bible Passages: Jeremiah 31:27-34; Luke 18:1-8
Link to the World/ Context
Th recent UN Summit Action Summit 2019
Environmentalism, pollution, climate change. To limit climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. To try and do what we can to help the environment and create sustainable living and development.
In Jeremiah, God gives his people hope. God ‘planted’ a new house of Israel and Judah and wants us to cultivate the world and all that God created by planting it with resources that our sustainable and renewable and lead to the fruition and flourishing of mankind, animals and all living things. We can bring hope to the next generation that the world they grow in will be just, beautiful and like a cultivated garden where God’s creation will bloom and will not have been destroyed and have decayed. God is a just God and we Jeremiah is a call for justice and a heart nurtured by compassion for the world and peoples and moral judgement on the use of scare and precious resources of the beautiful world. When God’s word is written in our hearts, we will have the favour of God if we do what is pleasing to him and as we also work with him to usher in His Kingdom on to the earth so that it will be as it is in Heaven. God planted a garden in Eden and so he is beginning to work so that the earth will be like a new garden reflecting the new earth in a way God desires it to be.
The passage in Jeremiah is about salvation of not just humans but salvation is about the world, all creation.
Luke 18:1 reminds us of the justice of God and his readiness and speed to action. The passage implores us to be persistent in prayers and action so that God will find us faithful to him when he comes again to judge those who love him and those who are against him. The passage tells us that for Christ to find us faithful he must find that we have not exploited this world and indulge in it to satisfy our own lusts and desires but that we have been faithful servants and stewards of this earth: loving creation, the climate, the environment and all people just as Christ loves all of us and gave his life for us.
The message from our readings is a call to us to be persistent in seeking justice for the earth by limiting climate change. We are asked to do whatever we can in our local communities and cities to save them from the scourge of climate change, pollution and local flooding due to rising sea levels and infrastructural problems such as overcrowding. Let us individually as the church cultivate and nourish our hearts and minds with the word of God (the Scriptures) as we are instructed to do in our reading in 2 Timothy. Let us feed on the rich teachings of the faith that creation is a gift given by God for our care and nurture. Let us cultivate strengthen through our faith in the power of prayers and perseverance to see climate change limited. Let us cultivate a vision of the world as a sustainable home for all humanity. A world that truly reflects and radiate the glory and splendour of God.
Sustainability projects / links
by Revd Jaiye Edu, Nigeria / London