Posts Tagged 'Jeremiah'

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jeremiah 31:8

Monday, December 27, 2010 – Christmas 2, Year A

We are approaching the second Sunday after Christmas Day, and the lectionary offers us the following passages: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 1:(1-9), 10-18. Alternative selections are from the Apocrypha and include Sirach 24:1-12 and Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21.

Jeremiah 31:8See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, then shall return here.

God is promising the people of Israel and Judah that he “…will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors…” (Jeremiah 30:3). And not just the able bodied, but those who might be considered a burden to the others – the sick, the pregnant, the mothers with young children.

Prayer: Loving God, following your example, help us better care for all of your people today and every day. AMEN.

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Picture for Proper 23 & Ordinary 28, 2010 – Jeremiah 29:5

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.

Picture Citation

Thought & Prayer for Proper 23 & Ordinary 28, 2010 – Jeremiah 29:5-7

The lectionary readings for the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost include the story of Naaman, one of my favorite healing stories in all scripture. The readings include: Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7; Psalm 66:1-12; 2 Timothy 2:8-15 and Luke 17:11-19. Alternate passages include 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c and Psalm 111.

Jeremiah 29:5-7 – [God is speaking to the people of Jerusalem exiled in Babylon.] Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters…multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Are each of us where God wants us to be? The honest answer for most of us is probably maybe or maybe not. The passage tells us to work toward building God’s kingdom wherever we are.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us be instruments of your peace this and every day. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 22 & Ordinary 27, 2010 – Lamentations 3:19-23

Lamentations 3:19-23The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

One of my favorite hymns, Great is Thy Faithfulness, is based on verses 22 and 23 of this passage. Despite the sadness over the loss of Jerusalem, the writer continues to give glory and honor to God, acknowledging as in the hymn, “Morning by morning new mercies I see.”

Prayer: Steadfast God, while we struggle with short attention spans, your love for us is never-ending. Thank you for this day and all the possibilities for service it brings. AMEN.

Picture for Ordinary 22 & Proper 27, 2010 – Lamentations 3:19

The thought of my afflictions and homelessness is wormwood and gall!

Picture Citation

Thought & Prayer for Proper 21 & Ordinary 26, 2010 – Jeremiah 32:13-15

We are approaching the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, and the lectionary selections include Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6:6-19 and Luke 16:19-31. Alternate selections include Amos 6:1a, 4-7 and Psalm 146.

Jeremiah 32:13-15 – In their presence I charged Baruch saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”

At the time Jeremiah is writing this, the city of Jerusalem is under siege by the Babylonian army. There was once a commercial for a church here in Memphis, where the preacher exclaimed, “God is working his purpose out!” Jeremiah is reminding the people of God that while times are really hard (and staying that way for some time), there will come a time when their land will be returned to them.

Prayer: Almighty God, grant us patience that comes from an assurance that you are ultimately in control. AMEN.


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