The Armenian Church liturgical calendar designates today as the feast of St. Jeremiah: one of the major prophets of the Bible. Jeremiah received his prophetic calling in a time of great promise: the reign of the godly king Josiah, during which a lost book of Moses (eventually known as Deuteronomy) was re-discovered, and a movement of spiritual renewal awakened among the Hebrew people.
But the pious king died in battle; his successors were weak and profligate; and Jeremiah’s generation saw its worst fears realized: the conquest of their holy city, Jerusalem, and the bitter exile of a nation from its homeland.
Jeremiah documented his painful experiences in the Old Testament book of his name, as well as in the aptly titled book of Lamentations. As a result, he became known to the ages as the “weeping prophet.”
Yet even in defeat, Jeremiah was something other than a voice of doom. To his people he spoke with the words of God; and they were words of hope, not despair.
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