Saturday, January 20, 2007

Real hope: Advent 1C Hope in Jeremiah 33

One sad thing these days is a pervasive pessimism and apathy about our world. I hear it from preachers and politicians with various persuasions.
Maybe it's the war and the unspoken fears that grip too many families. That's the part that really bothers me as a pastor.
The talking heads in church and politics can talk a good game about our anxieties, but to hear the real fears of families with loved ones in Iraq makes it all the more clear.

There's a real
hunger in our time to see something better happen. We aren't the first generation in the United States to realize that fear and uncertainty exist. Fear and uncertainty have always been part of human life. Our mortality demands it. But there's some hope if you look outside yourself. God told the prophet Jeremiah, who saw all that could go wrong for the nation of Judah actually go wrong that something better was going to come.

Jeremiah, you say that this land is a desert without people or animals, and for now, you are right. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are deserted, and people and animals are nowhere to be seen. But someday you will hear 11happy voices and the sounds of parties and wedding celebrations. And when people come to my temple to offer sacrifices to thank me, you will hear them say:

"We praise you, LORD All-Powerful!

You are good to us, and your love never fails."

Jeremiah 33:10-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

That's a good reason to have hope today.

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