Hello friends! I hope that you are doing well today. Today is the day that I think we all have longed for when reading a prophetic book - the declaration of hope; the message that light has prevailed once again. While it's important to read this as it was written for a group of exiles returning from Babylon to Jerusalem, I think it's also really helpful to read it as "exiles" returning from COVID to normality. As you hear God's words to the prophet and the people today, I encourage you to imagine that it is God speaking to us right now. It really does change the reading and make God feel all the more tangible and relatable. With that said.....leggo!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What does this teach me about the relationship of the two?
Does this inspire hope in me? what verse(s) specifically?
- My Thoughts -
If there is one platitude that drives me absolutely bananas it's "everything will be okay." Gee, thanks you donut how insightful. (Can you tell I'm writing this near lunchtime?) Sometimes "everything isn't okay." I suppose in the situations where you're eager to eat a donut and it drops on the ground and you can no longer have one then things will be okay, but what about when COVID kills a million people including some of our family or church family members? What about when our parents die unexpectedly or we have to declare bankruptcy for our personal lives or business? The very nature of tragedy or trauma means that not everything will be okay, but that's okay. That's the message I get from Jeremiah 49 - 50. God basically says that everybody is going to get the smackdown from God, Judah and Israel included and all the other nations previously mentioned (Egypt, Moab, and Phillistia) but....that also includes Babylon. When I think of how COVID has been somewhat defeated now with now having 3 vaccines and the rollout looking to reach all ages by summer or fall at the latest means that the light at the end of the tunnel is looking brighter and larger and coming soon(ish). But COVID's defeat doesn't mean there weren't lives lost and harm done along the way. Business' have closed, family members have strained relationships over mask disagreements, we haven't visited some family members in a year or hugged them, some left this world alone because no one could visit and the economic sector was destroyed along the way. But, it was defeated (mostly - depending on what these new strains do), and we will rise from this again. I recognize viewing our situation this way is a little pessimistic, but I also think it helps me blame God less when situations like this arise. Understanding that people of the past have also faced loss and devastation, but God's promise to be with God's people remained. And that's what is really okay.
What situations have you faced in life where you felt like everything in the world was collapsing around you but you could see the light at the end of the tunnel? How did you process that?
Before we jump into the prayer for today I'm curious for your response to a quick survey regarding the prayers. If you wouldn't mind taking just 5 seconds to answer it would really help me refine this!
Okie, now we can pray today's hymn inspired by hymn 181 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Ye Servants of God
1 You servants of God, your Master proclaim, and publish abroad his wonderful name; the name all-victorious of Jesus extol; his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.
2 God rules in the height, almighty to save; though hid from our sight, his presence we have; the great congregation his triumph shall sing, ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.
3 "Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!" let all cry aloud, and honor the Son; the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.
4 Then let us adore and give him his right: all glory and power, all wisdom and might, all honor and blessing with angels above and thanks never ceasing for infinite love.