Bishop John’s 2001 Lenten Study on Jeremiah and Lamentations can be downloaded here: PDF
It was a great joy to lead the Bible Studies at the 1988 Argentine Universities Bible Association National Conference: ‘Please share something from your time among us.’ The years of national crisis: the ‘Dirty War’ with over 30,000 ‘disappeared’, The Falkland Islands War, economic turmoil – inflation running at 5,000% per annum, massive poverty and distress. It all reminded me of a much earlier one who had held onto God in the midst of national crisis. One who had been brutally frank in his relationship with God and His people. We would continue to learn of walking in God’s way from this one. Who was this person? Jeremiah.
My addresses were edited into a devotional book ‘30 Days with Jeremiah: A love waiting with hope’ published by Certeza Argentina in 1989. It has been republished in two further editions and found helpful to Spanish language readers for over a decade now.
This Lenten Study Book 2002 develops that reflection and has led to significant rewriting for an Australian context. I have used the ‘Lamentations of Jeremiah’ to deepen the Lenten dimension of lament over the broken covenant relationship and God’s judgement on His people. This later aspect, in particular, was deepened by late night conversation with my friend Rev Laurie McIntyre, to whom I am most grateful. I also wish to thank Mamie Long for her encouragement and patience in the forming of this book.
My prayer is that these studies may be used to deepen our faith as we acknowledge sin for what sin really is, and as we experience the treasure of God’s forgiveness and grace in Jesus Christ.
25 July 2001
First anniversary as Bishop of Tasmania