Oh, land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord! Jeremiah. 22:29.

What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Matthew. 10:27.

There is a contrast between those addressed in these two verses. Both refer to listening, in Jeremiah to the word of the Lord; in Matthew these are the words of Jesus. Listening is good to do – how else will we learn? Once we hear, however, we need to do something with the knowledge we gain.  

Jeremiah in chapter 22 is addressing the penultimate king of Israel. One that is not doing good things, but rather is leading people away from God. His grandfather, Josiah, was a very good king, but the current one is not. Jeremiah is mostly telling him what disasters will befall him, including having no children to carry on his name. Verse 29 addresses the land itself – since the people aren’t listening, their land will have to listen. This is proclaimed loudly – to no avail.  Not long after, the people go into exile. They are forced to leave the land they were promised, and live in a foreign land.  

Contrast that with Jesus and His disciples. The disciples are being sent out to proclaim Jesus’ message. They are afraid of those who they might encounter on their journey. Not everyone will happily hear this message of the Messiah, especially the Romans and those who depend on them. Jesus reassures the disciples that they have His protection. Then, he quietly tells them the message – whispers in ears, hearing in the dark. They then are to proclaim the Lord’s word – speaking boldly in the daylight, and proclaiming from the rooftops. They did a good job of this as we today are still hearing the message. Now it is our turn to proclaim the same gospel message throughout our land and all other lands too.    

Lord, you are our God, from the dust of our shoes to the highest mountains. This world is your creation. You have called us your beloved children. Help us to proclaim what we have heard throughout your creation. May we hear and be free from fear and instead be filled with love for our neighbors.   May we live by this, and be people who welcome and who heal. In Jesus name, Amen.  

Chris Gabel