Not everyone associates love with prophecy, but when prophets spoke hard to hear words it was because they believed in a God of justice. They also knew God's justice is based in love, not retribution.
The God presented in our scriptures is neither "might makes right," nor "if it feels God, do it." God is concerned for all God's children and is most outspoken in demanding care for the children who are neglected and unable to provide for themselves (usually grouped as "widows, orphans, and strangers").
This Sunday, we will begin hearing Jeremiah's prophecy in the sanctuary services. We'll think about God's call (Jeremiah 1:4-10) this week, but he won't stop talking with the call story. The lectionary gives us seven weeks of Jeremiah. The Bible gives us 52 chapters of the prophet's words, which range from difficult to hear to very comforting.
Jeremiah has a lot to say about justice, and while the words aren't always sweet and can step on the toes of the comfortable and powerful, the prophet is doing so out of concern for the oppressed. That's the kind of thing that happens when God inspires love.
Love will be on the mind of those worshiping in The Well Sunday. Rev. Cattenhead will finish his three-part series on love with a sermon based on 1 Corinthians 13.
I leave you with a prayer I discovered recently. It's attributed to Anonymous in Taiwan and goes well with our thinking about Jeremiah's call (and all of our calling) to godly love.
Pray it with me:
"Gracious God, let your will for us all be known. Let all be partners in shaping the future with a faith that quarrels with the present for the sake of what yet might be. Amen."