One of today’s readings honor Jeremiah who would not wink at the sins of Jerusalem’s wealthy, while the other honors John the Baptist who would not wink at Herod’s breaking all the laws. A common way of expressing what it was that Jeremiah and John shared would be that they both had backbone.
Every time we choose to lay around, rather than getting up to do what should be done, we weaken our backbone. Every time we force our self to get up to do what must be done, we strengthen our backbone.
Just to fill space here, let me tell a little story about John the Baptist. Once when I was talking to the Seventh and Eighth Graders in church, I asked, “What did John the Baptist eat when he was in the desert?” One little girl spoke up, saying, “Locusts and wild honey.”
I said, ”You are a wild honey.” Then, ten years later I was getting a car wash at Charles and George’s, and the young lady scrubbing my tires looked up, and asked, “Don’t you know me?” I answered, ”No, who are you?” And she said, “I’m wild honey.”
That girl had backbone.