“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’
For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors for ever and ever.”
Take a moment and look around your home, where in your home are important messages and things places so that you’ll remember? Where is a note usually hung so that you’d see it? Where would you put something so that you’d remember to share it and be sure others saw it too? Is there a cork board, or maybe specific spot on your fridge? Or maybe it’s the mirror in the bathroom?
As you think about that space, take a moment, and think of what important message God may be wanting to share with you that you shouldn’t forget? What is an intentional action or saying that should be carried with you as you leave your house this day? For the people of Israel, Jeremiah stood at that important spot, the gate, the entrance to the temple of God to give his reminder of what should have been at the forefront of their minds. Amend your ways, this prophet called to them. God is calling for just doings and care the vulnerable in their midst. How can such calling be a part of our Advent preparation this season? Is there a message of intent or doing God is calling you not to forget as you enter and exit the gates of your own place of worship?
Lord of hosts, you’ve gathered us in as your people and spoken through the prophets of your people, to pay attention. May we enter your gates with such intentionally and awareness that your ways lead to life. In this Advent season of preparation, may it also be our hearts. In Christ’s precious name we pray. Amen.