The words of prophecy from Jeremiah were written to the exiles who had been carried away to Babylon. They are words of promise and restoration. God calls the people to celebrate because they are going to be returned to their home, and the life they will find there will be peaceful, abundant and just.
Notice two things in this prophecy. Firstly, notice that those who are brought home are not just the wealthy or important, but also the weak and the vulnerable. God’s promise is not just for a connected few, but for all. Secondly, notice how the nations are called to witness this restoration of Israel. Although God’s people have done
nothing to make this happen, their return to their homeland is a witness to the nations. It reflects God’s compassion and commitment to God’s people and enables Israel to become – as the nation was always called to be – a people that is blessed to be a blessing. Through them all nations are invited to join the celebration and enjoy the blessing.
Tomorrow’s celebration of Epiphany is all about God’s blessing being offered to all nations and all people. Those who have already experienced God’s call and God’s promises are to invite others to experience the same gift. Today, give thanks for the blessings God has given you, and think about ways to share those blessings with
The twin disciplines of thanksgiving and giving combine to give us a sense of abundance, peace and joy. When we take time to recognize all the goodness we enjoy, we can’t help but give thanks, and when we give thanks, we are reminded of the goodness we enjoy. Then, as we look around us, we can’t help but seek the same
joy for others, which automatically leads us to be generous with our time, talents and treasures. Why not try to experience this virtuous circle for yourself today?
As I thank you, O God, for the blessings I enjoy, show me how to share them with others.