Jeremiah’s message to the people of Israel gave a vision of hope in the midst of troubled times. We know about troubled times. We will never forget the quarantining, fear, illnesses, and death during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. While the troubled times that Jeremiah spoke into were not dealing with a pandemic, it nevertheless referenced extremely difficult days. During his time of prophecy, Israel was under the political domination of outsiders—Assyria and Babylon. Jeremiah knew that his people yearned for a time of safety and one that was free from fear.

The twentieth-century missionary and evangelist E. Stanley Jones believed that every human seeks to live under a just and good order. Moreover, every human being yearns for a just and good leader. Jones said that we have both in the message and the messenger of the gospel. The message is God’s reign and the messenger-leader is Jesus Christ. As we enter the season of Advent, we come upon the time when the yearnings that Jones spoke about take center stage in our life as Christians. Jeremiah served as a prophet for its announcement: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill my gracious promise with the people of Israel and Judah” (CEB).

Jeremiah envisioned a day when a leader “will do what is just and right in the land.” His vision transcended the geographical boundaries put in place by human beings and spoke to a new realm led by a new leader, to God’s coming reign, and the birth of Jesus.

Gracious and loving God, in times of trouble and despair, we seek your guiding hand to lead us toward a future with hope. Help us prepare our hearts and minds this coming Advent season so that we can become instruments of Jesus’ love and leadership in the world. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 21:25-36

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Lectionary Week
November 22–28, 2021
Scripture Overview

As we prepare our hearts for Advent, the celebration of Jesus’ first coming, we remember in Jeremiah that the birth of Jesus has a deep background, a background rooted in God’s promise to David. Psalm 25, traditionally credited to David, speaks of God’s faithfulness to those who follow the paths of the Lord. David asks God to teach him to follow God’s paths even more closely. The New Testament readings actually point us toward Jesus’ second coming. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to excel in holiness and love while they wait. In Luke, Jesus discusses the coming of the kingdom in a passage that some find confusing. We note that he focuses not on the exact time frame of the arrival of the kingdom but on our need to be alert

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 33:14-16. How have you experienced the promises of God in your life?
Read Psalm 25:1-10. How has the Lord taught you and led you in the path of your life?
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Is there a faith community for which you pray in joy? How else do you express your gratitude for that community?
Read Luke 21:25-36. How are you approaching Advent this year? What will you do to prepare your heart?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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