Summary: Through the prophet Jeremiah, God told the people to remember how they had been cared for and loved, and not to go after other gods who could not offer salvation.

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Don’t Forget Who You Are

Jeremiah 2:4-13

September 2, 2007

I thought long and hard about admitting this to you today. But I remember the day well. It was Monday, July 30; the day that the divorce of Britney Spears and K-Fed became final. I saw that on the internet and got sucked in. The settlement reportedly handed Kevin $15,000 a month for child support and an additional $20,000 a month in spousal support. All of that was apparently spelled out in their prenuptial agreement.

Of course, there were the obligatory pictures that I had to look at: Britney in a bikini; Britney going through the drive up at Jack-in-the-Box; Britney getting on a plane bound for Hawaii; Britney with long hair, short hair, blond hair, dark hair, and no hair; Britney eating a hot dog; Britney eating a hamburger; Britney eating a taco; Britney before re-hab; Britney after rehab; Britney before rehab again; Britney after rehab again; pregnant Britney; non-pregnant Britney; Britney in her car; they went on and on.

In my opinion, she and a number of other young women in Hollywood are a train wreck. We gossip about them and laugh at them. They provide the fodder for all sorts of late night comedy routines. As much as we hate to admit it, there is something fascinating about them.

The bottom line for me however, because I have my own young adult children, is that I find Britney to be a real tragedy. I would feel sorry for any young man or woman whose life seems so off track. But, when I am honest with myself – and sometimes this is hard - I find that I have a hard time condemning her because I too stand in the need of grace. Sometimes my own life is a tragedy as well – a train wreck waiting to happen - because there are times when I get caught in my own sins, shortcomings, failings, and utter goofiness. I too, get into real trouble when I forget who I am.

Corporations can also sometimes forget who they are and what they are all about. I don’t know if you know it or not, but we are ready to celebrate a milestone anniversary in America. Just two days from now – September 4 – we will mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction by Ford Motor Company of the Edsel. I was pretty little, but I remember.

My understanding of the idea behind the Edsel is that Ford Motor Company wanted a car to compete in the market with Oldsmobile. They already had the Lincoln to compete with Cadillac, but wanted a car that was sort of up-scale, but not a luxury vehicle.

The car was initially named the “E Car” for experimental car. They had trouble finding a real name. Among those considered were the “Silver Sword,” “Thundercrest,” and “Utopian Turtletop.” But they finally settled on “Edsel” after Henry Ford’s son.

Everything that could go wrong with the Edsel did. Among the problems were these:

• Except for the new grill configuration, there wasn’t much new in the design of the car.

• The pushbutton automatic transmission was located in the center of the steering wheel which is an incredibly stupid place to put it.

• There was no Edsel plant; they were assembled at other Ford and Mercury plants and so parts got confused from time to time with other cars. They would sometimes arrive at dealerships with notes attached listing the parts that were missing.

• There was a recession in 1957 which slowed the economy and caused a drop-off in new car purchases.

It was just the wrong car at the wrong time. It is obviously not only individuals who get into trouble when they forget who they really are. Businesses as well, rise or fall on the ability to do things the right things at the right time. When people, businesses, organizations, and families forget who they really are, you can be pretty well assured that there is trouble brewing.

If you were to ask me who my favorite prophet is, I would tell you that it is Jeremiah. Among all of the prophets, Jeremiah’s heart broke when he had to announce the judgment of God on the people. Because of that, h is known as the weeping prophet. He knew what the people could be, because he knew what they once were. It broke his heart to watch them ignore, betray, and turn away from the God who had brought them so far. In chapter two of his prophecy, Jeremiah tells the people what God had told him. God remembered how it used to be.

God remembered all of the years in the wilderness when they had been so faithful to each other. God reminded them of the time when they wandered in the desert after they were freed from slavery in Egypt. He reminded them of how he brought them to the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey.

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