Jeremiah 31: 27—32: 44
When my mom and dad got married my dad immediately joined the Air Force and the started a 25-year journey that included at least 15 moves. At an early point in this journey my grandma made this for my mom:
This traveled with us from house to house, and then my mom gave it to me. The truth in this cross stitch jumped off the page at me in our reading today. God plants us in a mirid of different circumstances and asks us to bloom there. For the Israelites, because of their disobedience, he is planting them in Exile and asking them to bloom there. For Jeremiah he planted him in jail and asked him to bloom there. The power to bloom is available to all of us through our dependence on God. He is the one who plants and uproots and then ultimately restores and replants it all in the future.
The New Covenant talked about in this section is the very one we are reading through as well. This New Covenant was created when Christ died on the Cross. We as the church are living in the in-between phase of the New Covenant. The ultimate fulfillment of the New Covenant will not happen until the Millennial Kingdom when God changes the hearts of Israel. So, as He does, God is asking the Church to “Bloom where you are planted.”
1 Timothy 3: 1-16
The moral of this section is that if you can’t lead your life and home well, you have no business trying to lead a church. It’s cool with God if a dude aspires to lead the church, it is honorable. But if his wife is a hot mess, his kids are terrorists and he is out carousing all night these are all symptoms of a bigger problem inside of him. This is a guardrail for the church as well. With our leaders we have to look at the fruit their life is producing. Bad fruit=bad leader. Good fruit=good leader. And again, these are ground rules for life and leadership inside the “household of God,” not everywhere in life and not in every church adjacent institution.