It took a day or so, but I have moved from “a little bummed” to being excited for where we are as a church, nation and global society, right now. That doesn’t mean I have totally given up on not having Easter service - in person. That is still hard for me to be good with. But, in truth, we trust the Lord in every and all things. And, if we look at what is going on through the lens of our relationship with the Lord, this is really a good time to serve the Lord!
So, I want to share a passage that has been ministering to me during this time. In Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah writes a letter to God’s people, while they are in exile. More than just a little bummed out, Israel is totally confused about what has happened to them and what God is doing to them after they have been taken into captivity for what will be 70 years. I hope you are seeing the parallels and also seeing how much worse their situation is than ours. It’s kind of like many of us were told when we were growing up, “There is always someone that has it worse than you.”
Anyway, while in exile Jeremiah’s letter from the Lord instructs the Israelite's of what God expects from them while they are in this real life situation:
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 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. 7 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. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream,[a] 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.Jeremiah 29:4-9
Here are a few Observations:
• The Lord still speaks. Keep listening.
• That God sent them into exile (as a result of their years of sin), let’s us know He is aware of where they/we are.
• Build houses and live in them. Don’t stop living.
• Plant gardens and eat from them. What can you “plant” for the Lord that will make you stronger in the long run
• Keep loving and keep living
• Seek how to serve where you/we are [v7]
• Pray for the community where you are. When our community is blessed by God, we all are blessed by God
• Be careful to listen to God’s voice, not the fear and deception of people [vv8-9]
In short, don’t lose sight of the plans and the course the Lord already had you on! Build. Plant. Live. Seek the Lord.
Be encouraged! I am praying for you and your family! Don’t forget to keep checking out our website for the latest Sunday message, and ways to serve the Lord.