Friday, October 26, 2012

The Sunday Word

Jeremiah 31:7-9
Thus says the LORD:Shout with joy for Jacob,exult at the head of the nations;proclaim your praise and say:The LORD has delivered his people,the remnant of Israel.Behold, I will bring them backfrom the land of the north;I will gather them from the ends of the world,with the blind and the lame in their midst,the mothers and those with child;they shall return as an immense throng.They departed in tears,but I will console them and guide them;I will lead them to brooks of water,on a level road, so that none shall stumble.For I am a father to Israel,Ephraim is my first-born.
The prophet Jeremiah pushes possibilities for ourselves as he tells the story of God's plan for the people of Israel. The Lord will bring his people home after years of exile in Babylon, he promises -- "I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world." The prophet predicts that the things that truly matter are the goodness of the Lord, the joy and hope of God's people, and the peaceful home that God provides.

Jeremiah is convinced that these are the things that are REALLY worth saving, in any place and time. They are the true hidden treasures of the people of God.

The goodness of the Lord is what makes the whole homecoming happen. God ransoms his faithless, sinful people and redeems them, says Jeremiah; he gathers them from distant lands and leads them to a place where he will keep them as a shepherd keeps a flock. But why? The question before us is not the ever-popular query: Why do bad things happen to good people? Surely we've heard that one enough -- it's so "20th century." Instead, the real question here is: Why do good things happen to bad people?

The answer, it seems, is because God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!

God is full of grace and goodness. We are his treasure. We are worth it. And so he does.