Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Jeremiah 31:1-6 (NRSV)
At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Thus says the LORD:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.
For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the LORD our God.”
Most of us have watched rehab shows on television, the ones in which an old building is brought back to life. For an old building to recover, someone has to love it and has to be willing to put a lot of effort into the project. Unexpected problems always pop up, and the work usually requires some heavy lifting.
Who can rehab a dilapidated nation or a broken life? According to Jeremiah, God can—and God will. The people of Israel lost everything when Babylon invaded their land: Temple, vineyards, and homes. They also lost their sense of privilege, which wasn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, their hope went with it.
As they suffered defeat and humiliation, God promised to restore their land. God would reconstitute Israel as a people and make for dancing in the streets once again. But we know the rebuild wouldn’t be cheap. There’s always a price to pay and heavy lifting to do.
We know because we watched Jesus go to the cross to rehab a broken humanity. He loved us enough to pay the price and put in all that hard work. For us? For us.
O God, restore us. We’re broken and need fixing. We know it won’t be easy, but we can’t repair our lives by ourselves. Starting now, please make us new. Amen.
Go with God.