August 21, 2022

Lastly, our calling is a departure. For the Israelites, the Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy was an invitation and permit. It was God’s vision that opened their eyes and hearts to see their time of slavery differently.

Pastor KJ Kim

Psalm 87; Jeremiah 9: 23-24

In today’s reading from the book of Jeremiah, chapter 9, he offered a simple, but bad triple-bragging - “Do not let the wise boast of their wisdom; Do not let the mighty boast of their might; and Do not let the wealthy boast of their wealth.”

Jeremiah prophesied that wisdom, might, and wealth were something we do not boast and brag about. We might be rebellious against Jeremiah’s prophecy. Don’t we think we should brag, given who we are? What’s wrong and bad about bragging about something, given who we are?

Well, Jeremiah answered clearly in the passage, “Yes, you can brag, but you might not want to brag on wisdom, might, and wealth.” So, “What else is there to brag on?” we might question him, Prophet Jeremiah.

In verse 24, Jeremiah gave Jerusalem, and gives us, another triad for bragging. Brag that we know God, the God of covenant and promise. Instead of wisdom, might, and wealth, we are called to reveal who God is and who we are through steadfast love, justice, and righteousness.

Imagine we bragged about steadfast love, the love about the staying power to be faithful. With and by the same steadfast love for the world, we who choose to follow his every footstep not only going for the glorious places but also going for the places we would rather avoid—the table fellowship with Gentiles, unbelievers, and sinners, and the cross where we may put down our ego, self-assurance, and boast.

Next, imagine what would happen if we bragged about justice. Justice might happen when we only have the willingness to submit or sacrifice ourselves for others. We all know how hard it is just like we rarely meet a fresh well in the desert.

Lastly, imagine we brag about righteousness—a vision of a community which is viable, sustainable, and harmonious—like an ever-flowing stream. According to Isaiah’s vision, in chapter 11, God’s righteousness might be done when we are brave enough to go against the way things are.

Perhaps, we might still pursue and glimpse toward “wisdom” which is the way of the world; or “might” which is a little piece of power to control a small part of our lives; or “wealth” which makes us insatiable and thirsty.

That is the reason we have to hear the words from Jeremiah over and over again—bragging about things that belong to God—steadfast love, justice, and righteousness; because God’s foolishness in the cross is wiser than human wisdom; God’s weakness in the cross is stronger than human strength.

Let’s keep bragging endlessly about love, justice, and righteousness, rather than human wisdom, might, and wealth.

Thanks be to God.