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.
Jeremiah's ministry was to a people who were broken, who had lost everything to invasion and exile. Yet he can proclaim God's faithful love for the people, and knowledge of that love brings hope. Hope that the land will be recovered, hope that the exiles will return, hope that Jerusalment will be rebuilt.
And the basis of that hope is the everlasting love of God - a love Jeremiah the prophet proclaims in prophecy. Prophecy is not 'telling the future' - it's declaring the possibility of the future, for better or worse depending on whether the prophet's words are heeded. Here Jeremiah's proclamation is grounded fully in knowing Gods faithfulness, and that this faithfulness comes from a love that is indeed, an everlasting love. God's judgement always comes second to God's love.
Faithful God, you draw near to us
in our joy and in our grief,
in our hope and in our despair.
When we are bowed down, you raise us anew.
We turn to you now in search of your healing touch.
God of compassion and love,
move among us this hour.
Open our eyes, dispel our fears,
and show us the real life you have to offer.
We pray this in the name of the Risen One,
Jesus the Christ. Amen.
From the United Church of Christ "Worship Ways'