This morning’s old covenant reading carries an optimistic and encouraging point of view, exhorting God’s people not simply to make the best of it, but to take on their national devastation as an opportunity and new blessing. With the fate and near-future of our own nation in doubtful imbalance as we stumble toward our presidential election, there’ll be change either way, and another second chance. If I’d rather’ve seen Ike on the ballot, or the Haberdasher, it’s just my memory of the best of, not the worst of. Patiently forbearing this evening's debate, I’m looking to a halt of the evil rhetoric, eagerly anticipating the new year; for/and even for Babylon, judgment comes. Revelation 18:10.
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear 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.
Psalm 66:1-11 Jubilate Deo
1 Be joyful in God, all you lands; *
sing the glory of his Name;
sing the glory of his praise.
2 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds! *
because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you.
3 All the earth bows down before you, *
sings to you, sings out your Name."
4 Come now and see the works of God, *
how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people.
5 He turned the sea into dry land,
so that they went through the water on foot, *
and there we rejoiced in him.
6 In his might he rules for ever;
his eyes keep watch over the nations; *
let no rebel rise up against him.
7 Bless our God, you peoples; *
make the voice of his praise to be heard;
8 Who holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.
9 For you, O God, have proved us; *
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
10 You brought us into the snare; *
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
11 You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water; *
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.
DThos+ loving +Time+