Bringing the Text to Life

God's Emoji Jeremiah 33:14-16

God's Emoji

Using the colorful symbol of “a righteous Branch,” Jeremiah challenges us to follow a new leader from God.


Emojis and emoticons are popular ways to express thoughts and feelings. They are so ubiquitous that they are beginning to be the targets of lawsuits. The practice of using emojis to convey thoughts recalls an image mentioned in Scripture. God uses an emoji, we could say, to share the good news that peace and justice are coming to the world.



For material based on today’s gospel text, see “The Anxiety Machine,” November 29, 2009, at


On a typical smartphone, you can find a little Christmas tree, a gift-wrapped box and a Santa Claus. All are symbols of the Christmas season, tiny pictures used on social media, in text messages and in emails. The name for them? Emojis.

The prophet Jeremiah says that “a righteous Branch” will spring up for Jesse’s son, King David (v. 15). This branch is a colorful symbol for the season of Advent, and we can all picture it in our imaginations....

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