Inheritance of worship and merrymaking
Jeremiah 30: 18-22 (GNT)
18 The Lord says,
“I will restore my people to their land
and have mercy on every family;
Jerusalem will be rebuilt,
and its palace restored.
19 The people who live there will sing praise;
they will shout for joy.
By my blessing they will increase in numbers;
my blessing will bring them honor.
20 I will restore the nation's ancient power
and establish it firmly again;
I will punish all who oppress them.
21-22 Their ruler will come from their own nation,
their prince from their own people.
He will approach me when I invite him,
for who would dare come uninvited?
They will be my people,
and I will be their God.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
If yesterday’s passage sounded like Paradise, this one sounds like Utopia – the people reclaiming their inheritance, their ancestral land, ruled over by a prince who is one of their own.
For many generations the people had been in exile under foreign powers, oppressed, even enslaved.
They had been wanderers in the wilderness, with no home to call their own.
How could they sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
Always before them was the Promised Land, where at last they would be free to worship properly, sing and praise God.
we too have had our wilderness times;
our days of despair
as we look at the mess we have made of so much of your world;
as we realise how we have followed false leaders
and pursued false aims of amassing money or possessions or privilege.
Forgive us, renew us, restore us,
as we prepare to welcome,
in song and carol and rejoicing,
the one whose Kingdom
will be our Promised Land.
Your Kingdom come.