Preferring the full
While I have tremendous respect for those who worked on this Lectionary, I very much appreciate the full Scripture passage from which today's first reading comes: Jeremiah 2:1-13.
It is a stern yet poetic reminder to us who live in a world that chases after experiences and exalts concepts that are ultimately and utterly empty:
This word of the LORD came to me:
Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear!
I remember the devotion of your youth,
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert, in a land unsown.
Sacred to the LORD was Israel,
the first fruits of his harvest;
Should anyone presume to partake of them,
evil would befall him, says the LORD.
Listen to the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob!
All you clans of the house of Israel,
thus says the LORD:
What fault did your fathers find in me
that they withdrew from me,
Went after empty idols,
and became empty themselves?
They did not ask,
"Where is the LORD
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
Who led us through the desert,
through a land of wastes and gullies,
Through a land of drought and darkness,
through a land which no one crosses,
where no man dwells?"
When I brought you into the garden land
to eat its goodly fruits,
You entered and defiled my land,
you made my heritage loathsome.
The priests asked not, "Where is the LORD?"
Those who dealt with the law knew me not:
the shepherds rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
and went after useless idols.
Therefore will I yet accuse you, says the LORD,
and even your children's children I will accuse.
Pass over to the coast of the Kittim and see,
send to Kedar and carefully inquire:
Where has the like of this been done?
Does any other nation change its gods?
-- yet they are not gods at all!
But my people have changed their glory
for useless things.
Be amazed at this, O heavens,
and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.
Two evils have my people done:
they have forsaken me, the source of living waters;
They have dug themselves cisterns,
broken cisterns, that hold no water.
May we not be distracted by empty experiences and concepts.
May we settle for nothing less than the fullness which is God.