It Takes A Village – Week 21
A World Swift To Sift
Jerusalem has fallen. The temple has been destroyed; her king exiled as Judah’s existence is no longer. And in the middle of the crumbling and defeated nation, her allegiance and obedience nothing more than smouldering ashes upon the ground, we find the prophet Jeremiah. His warnings of Judah’s demise were akin to foghorns in the mist of a darkened night. But his warnings appeared to fall upon the nearly deaf ears of God’s children attempting in vain to cling to the last vestiges of their faith.
Many biblical scholars look to Jeremiah in awe of his humanity on display within his prophetic calling. When everything he had ever known was crumbling around him, his writings confess of the struggle in his call having to deliver the messages of Yahweh. But Jeremiah remains steadfast to his life purpose though it was difficult. He warned God’s beloved to change their ways committing themselves to rightful living. But war ravaged, a king was lost, and the lands once known as their promise overtaken by a hostile army. All seemed lost.
Perhaps one of the most famous- and most quoted- verses known in the bible is the utterance of Jeremiah smack dab in the middle of the book. Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to what was left of those who were in exile taken to Babylon including King Jehoiachin, his mother, government leaders, and elders. He encouraged them to pray for Babylon’s well being making themselves a home while they were to lie in wait for God’s return. After a time of seventy years, God would return for them. God made them a great promise. A promise that each and every one of us continue to hold dear:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As Jeremiah encouraged the exiles in Babylon to lie in wait making a life for themselves until God’s return, we too, as Christ’s beloved church are encourage to the same. The world we live in is crumbling down all around us. The sin and shame of which we find ourselves smoulders in the background of our lives. And we, like Jeremiah, may struggle in our humanity but must stay steadfast to the call and purpose of our lives.
Yes, God does indeed have a plan for us. Individually and collectively for when Jeremiah penned these words into his letter, he was speaking to a collective audience of God’s exiled children. God has a plan for us, Christ’s church, village, and community. This passage is one of the greatest evidences that we were never meant to do life alone. In a world swift to sift, we are Christ’s exiled. And as we lie in wait for His return, we are to create a life together for His purposes and not our own.
Father, we wait. We live as your exiled in a world quickly going up in smoke. Though we must live within the ashes, we need not get burned. Help us to stay steadfast in our call doing life together and thriving through it. In Jesus name, amen.