Even though the story of Peter and the story of Jacob are what must be, we should never believe that Christ is indifferent to our suffering and struggle. These words, proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Israel, express Christ’s lament for our present struggle in creation as we are transformed by God’s power.
“Is the Lord not in Zion?” Christ asks. (verse 19) Isn’t Christ at the very heart of the church, coming to dwell in God’s people? Why then, do we struggle? As the early Christians and Lutheran reformers spoke about it, we are forgiven sinners; the gospel is not forced on anyone, so even those who are faithful will struggle. We struggle with the change and the growth that God’s work through Christ and faith brings.
Nurtured by the Word, we learn through the experience of Jesus Christ in the church. We grow, we stumble, we are forgiven and brought back into the community. We learn that holding fast in faith is really about letting go of our present form. All of this is necessary. All of this with struggle and suffering, none of which is lost on Christ; what we endure is not ignored.
Gather us in, O Lord, as a hen gathers her brood. Nourish us with the Bread of Life, that we may grow into the fullness of your image. Amen. — JCB