whose Son was revealed in majesty
before he suffered death upon the cross:
give us grace to perceive his glory,
that we may be strengthened to suffer with him
and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.
Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’ But the Lord said to me,
‘Do not say, “I am only a boy”;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
‘Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree. ’Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’ The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.’
Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land. For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter my judgements against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them. And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
We have heard with our ears, O God, our forebears have told us,
all that you did in their days, in time of old;
How with your hand you drove out nations and planted us in,
and broke the power of peoples and set us free.
For not by their own sword did our ancestors take the land
nor did their own arm save them,
But your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance,
because you were gracious to them.
You are my King and my God,
who commanded salvation for Jacob.
Through you we drove back our adversaries;
through your name we trod down our foes.
For I did not trust in my bow;
it was not my own sword that saved me;
It was you that saved us from our enemies
and put our adversaries to shame.
We gloried in God all the day long,
and were ever praising your name.
But now you have rejected us and brought us to shame,
and go not out with our armies.
You have made us turn our backs on our enemies,
and our enemies have despoiled us.
You have made us like sheep to be slaughtered,
and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a pittance
and made no profit on their sale.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbours,
the scorn and derision of those that are round about us.
You have made us a byword among the nations;
among the peoples they wag their heads.
My confusion is daily before me,
and shame has covered my face,
At the taunts of the slanderer and reviler,
at the sight of the enemy and avenger.
All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you
and have not played false to your covenant.
Our hearts have not turned back,
nor our steps gone out of your way,
Yet you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with the shadow of death.
If we have forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to any strange god,
Will not God search it out?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
But for your sake are we killed all the day long,
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rise up! Why sleep, O Lord?
Awake, and do not reject us for ever.
Why do you hide your face
and forget our grief and oppression?
Our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly cleaves to the earth.
Rise up, O Lord, to help us
and redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.