This week Stan Lyth will be continuing our series “Off the Map’, with a talk titled; ‘Jeremiah & trauma: “Cursed be the day I was born”‘. Stan is one of the leaders at Liberty Church, Dunfermline.
Whilst reading this scripture you might like to consider the following questions;
- How do you feel reading this passage? Are there any aspects you identify with? Describe, write or draw your response.
“Jeremiah’s prayers make him a model for other sufferers, an ideal survivor. His words honor suffering in its many bitter dimensions and give voice to the mute pain of destroyed faith. They reflect back to victims their own spiritual and theological quagmire.” O’Connor, Kathleen, Jeremiah: Pain and Promise (p. 90). 2011, Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
- How might this passage teach us to pray in the midst of ruin, disaster and suffering?
7 You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
9 But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word
or speak any more in his name,’
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
‘Terror on every side!
Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!’
All my friends
are waiting for me to slip, saying,
‘Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we will prevail over him
and take our revenge on him.’
11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonour will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues the life of the needy
from the hands of the wicked.
14 Cursed be the day I was born!
May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,
who made him very glad, saying,
‘A child is born to you – a son!’
16 May that man be like the towns
the Lord overthrew without pity.
May he hear wailing in the morning,
a battle cry at noon.
17 For he did not kill me in the womb,
with my mother as my grave,
her womb enlarged for ever.
18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
to see trouble and sorrow
and to end my days in shame?