I decided to write about the Joel reading in my Century column for this week, because I find his language and imagery—like that of many of the prophetic books—so rich and inspiring. But if I were preaching myself (not that I ever have to) I would probably choose to address the omissions from the Jeremiah and Timothy readings.
When I was a small girl I went to an excellent Sunday school where we were introduced to lots of Bible stories with very few be-good-or-else threats attached. I learned a great many interesting things, including knowing by heart the seven plagues that were inflicted on Pharaoh and his people. This is where I first encountered locusts.
Words of judgment are difficult to hear. Actually, I have no
trouble hearing how they apply to others. And when the preacher gives a logical
explanation of how the law applies to me, I understand it and nod my head in
agreement. But it often makes little connection with my heart and even less
with the way I live.