Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany: Jeremiah 3.19-4.4
This Sunday's Old Testament reading comes from Jeremiah 3:19-4:4 (NRSV):
how I would set you among my children,
and give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful heritage of all the nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father,
and would not turn from following me.
20 Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,
says the Lord.
21 A voice on the bare heights[a] is heard,
the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children,
because they have perverted their way,
they have forgotten the Lord their God:
22 Return, O faithless children,
I will heal your faithlessness.
“Here we come to you;
for you are the Lord our God.
23 Truly the hills are[b] a delusion,
the orgies on the mountains.
Truly in the Lord our God
is the salvation of Israel.
24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”
4 If you return, O Israel,
says the Lord,
if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
and do not waver,
2 and if you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed[c] by him,
and by him they shall boast.
3 For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Break up your fallow ground,
and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
remove the foreskin of your hearts,
O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
and burn with no one to quench it,
because of the evil of your doings.