Sunday’s Scripture ~ Jeremiah 33:14-16
This Sunday begins the liturgical season of Advent, which marks the Christian new year!
Happy New Year!
(Must work on an Advent ball dropping for next year…would it be an ornament? And if so, what shape…and color…and will glitter be involved?! Hmm…this will require further thought.)
Advent is the season when we prepare ourselves to receive God’s greatest gift, Jesus. It is a time of getting ready for the celebration of Christmas while also being a time where we reflect on why we need this great gift of Jesus.
Our Scripture passage this week invites us to such a place of reflection and remembrance. Jeremiah is a prophet to God’s people in exile. He is aware and lives in the midst of Israel’s brokenness, pain, and despair in Babylon. While Jeremiah bewails the people’s circumstance and admonishes their behavior, Jeremiah brings messages and signs of hope.
Fulfilled promise is near. A righteous branch is sprouting. By God’s hand you will be safe and saved. The Lord is our Righteousness.
In one word: Hope.
My favorite Advent carol is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This hymn choruses the journey from human despair to hope in Christ our Lord. It reminds, it reinforces that death and despair do not have the final word. Hope is the final word.
But it also stirs me towards this revelation: if I am or my faith community are surrounded by hope, then we cannot use that hope to cloister us away from the despair that continually surrounds. We are called to walk the sometimes lonely road from despair to hope alongside our neighbors. And if we walk together, then it is not so lonely after all, is it?
And more to the point – rather than if we walk together…
It’s when we walk together.
Reflection: How is God preparing me to walk my own path from despair to hope? How is God preparing me to walk with my neighbors from despair to hope?
Prayer: Rejoice. Rejoice. Emmanuel. Shall come to thee, O Israel. Amen.