“In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it” (Daniel 1:1)
Yesterday morning I began reading the Book of Daniel, and I’ll be honest; it was refreshing to read about the strong faith of Daniel and his friends, Daniel’s ability to interpret the king’s dreams, and the story of salvation from out of a fiery furnace.
For the last few weeks, we have been reading through Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel. I found these Old Testament books to be heavy and difficult to work through. I usually look forward to my early morning Bible reading, but with Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel, it felt like a daily grind.
Last Saturday, many of us gathered at Wildwood Park for a Synod Day of Scripture. Pastor Rachel Wrenn, a Ph.D. student at Emory University, was our teacher and guide as we learned about the Prophets and Justice. Rachel is simply one of the best Bible teachers in our church. It is always inspiring to see people doing what God has gifted them to do.
One of our pastors shared with Rachel that we were reading through the Book of Ezekiel, and how difficult it was to read. Rachel responded, “Well of course it’s difficult to read, Ezekiel is trauma literature”. She went on to explain how Lamentations and Ezekiel were written during a time great national trauma. Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians for 18 months. The people inside Jerusalem were slowly starved to death, and finally led into Exile once the Babylonians breached the city walls. As soon as Rachel used the phrase “trauma literature”, it all made so much sense. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the writer of Lamentations had experienced a national trauma, and their writings reflect the brutal reality that they experienced. Pastor Rachel Wrenn’s wise words helped me to see the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel in a much different light.
Please pray with me this Prayer for Those Who Have Suffered Trauma by Pastor Vienna Cobb Anderson, for Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all those who have experienced life changing trauma,
“Most merciful God bless all who have suffered trauma in their lives. Support them with love during their time of shock. Grace them with peace as they wrestle with the challenges of each day. Sustain them in hope as they prepare for the days ahead. Amen.