Maybe you peeked at the verses before and after today’s assigned readings-I’m glad you did! You might have seen the word “yoke” in today’s reading and remembered Jesus’ words about his yoke being easy and light. The yoke Jeremiah speaks of is anything but light!
Jeremiah fashioned a yoke made of wood and wore it as a visual aid to instruct people that an occupying empire was coming. The prophets on the king’s payroll promised the people a life of ease courtesy of the king. The king’s prophet Hananiah broke apart the yoke Jeremiah had fashioned. Jeremiah returns with a yoke made of iron to underscore his first warning.
In the end, Jeremiah’s warnings come to be. The story is about more than “getting it right” or winning a debate. Jeremiah’s ministry was a continuous call for loyalty to God above loyalty to temporal powers and charismatic rulers. As we read our devotions this week, we might recall not all yokes are created equal, and we might hold on to Jesus’ promise of his yoke being easy.
Eternal God, you are merciful and abound in steadfast love. Teach us again that loyalty to you proves to be the light and easy yoke Jesus promises. Amen. — BSC