Day 20 of Lent: Broken Cisterns

The Day’s Scripture

Jeremiah 2:7-13 The Message

7-8 “I brought you to a garden land
    where you could eat lush fruit.
But you barged in and polluted my land,
    trashed and defiled my dear land.
The priests never thought to ask, ‘Where’s God?’
    The religion experts knew nothing of me.
The rulers defied me.
    The prophets preached god Baal
And chased empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.
9-11 “Because of all this, I’m bringing charges against you”
        —God’s Decree—
    “charging you and your children and your grandchildren.
Look around. Have you ever seen anything quite like this?
    Sail to the western islands and look.
Travel to the Kedar wilderness and look.
    Look closely. Has this ever happened before,
That a nation has traded in its gods
    for gods that aren’t even close to gods?
But my people have traded my Glory
    for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.
12-13 “Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see!
    Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!”
        God’s Decree.
“My people have committed a compound sin:
    they’ve walked out on me, the fountain
Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns—
    cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.


A little girl at the beach runs back and forth from the edge of the surf up to the sandcastle she is creating.  Her mind is set on filling the moat she’s made by clawing a perimeter around her fortress.  Not only is the sand thirsty and sucking up any excess standing moisture, but the girl’s container—a plastic Solo cup—is maligned with cracks, rendering her efforts to transport ocean water to moat futile.  Back and forth she runs—filled with hope as she scoops up a container full of water, only to be exasperated by the mere drops that trickle out at the end of her trek.  And yet she runs back for more, rinse and repeat—the same scarce result.  This is insanity.

Why have you walked away from the living water, the endless fountain, in favor of containers that leak?  In what ways are you beating your head against walls in futility; pacing restlessly back and forth; opening refrigerator doors and closing them shut again; taking hit after hit; selling off your dignity piece by piece; turning again and again to zero sum; giving in to vampire relationships; drinking sand; eating rock; trusting in empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes?  Stop!  All you who are thirsty!  Come to the fountain always flows . . . and drink.  The Lord is Good!

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