It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever I please. Jeremiah 27:5
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
As we are enjoying a lovely spring in the northern hemisphere, we can see all kinds of beauty in the world. There are spring flowers, tulips and daffodils and more. There are shrubs that are flowering, apple trees in all the glory of their flowering. Birds are singing, I can look out the window and see a robin pursuing a worm with some rabbits happily hopping and munching on grass. We hope the bees are all getting their first meals of nectar. It is a great time to just sit and enjoy all the beauty and bounty of nature.
Yet there is much in our world that does not look so hopeful and happy. With a pandemic that keeps on going, people who can’t find work that pays enough to live on, housing that is nowhere near affordable, violence as another innocent child is shot while riding in a care. For many it is hard to just enjoy spring to enjoy the nature all around us.
So, where does all this come from? Jeremiah, the Lord is telling the people who it is who is in charge. He wants them to stop and think who it is that made the earth, who controls nature, who put people and animals on the earth. Most of the surrounding verses tell of God’s plan to have the people of Judah be under Nebuchadnezzar for some time. God the Creator is in charge.
Jesus tells us that the meek are blessed. That these are the people who will inherit the earth, inherit the land. Meekness and humility often have a negative connotation. We may hear that people follow along like meek sheep, without thinking for themselves. That is not the meekness Jesus speaks of. Rather it is the sense of quietly submitting to God by those who are patient, who are slow to anger, who endeavor to reconcile those who may be offended. Who, as one commentator writes, “by their sweetness, affability, courteousness and kindness” win over others with peace and love. They are happy right here on earth, no matter the circumstances they find themselves in.
Creating God, your outstretched arm is at once power and grace from which bursts forth all life. You created the universe in all its intricacies. Unveil our eyes to see its beauty as well as the shadows in our society. Never let us forget that your creation was made for all and that only you can choose on whom to bestow it. Help us learn to be meek, to show mercy to the afflicted, and to do your will on earth. Amen.