In my copy of the Collins English Dictionary, there are three entries for Jeremiah: 1) the Old Testament Prophet of that name 2) the book of his prophecies and 3) “a person who habitually prophecies doom or denounces contemporary society”. Though he is also the prophet who tells us of the New Covenant where sins are remembered no more, in our culture at least, his name is synonymous with rebuke.
At a surface level, then, Jeremiah is not an easy prophet to love (and calling someone a Jeremiah in sense 3 is hardly a complement!). But this week’s reading highlights a disturbing alternative; prophets who say “Peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jer 6:14). If the other prophets of his day flattered the people into a false sense of security – with catastrophic results – then Jeremiah might not be easy to love, but he is essential to listen to.