Friday, October 18, 2013

a futre with hope, even in exile

Good evening friends,
First, I'd like to remind or let you know about an opportunity to say goodbye to a beloved member of our church, Betty Dennis. Betty died in Florida last month and her memorial service will be at Laurelton tomorrow, October 19 at noon. I'm sure her family would love the support of seeing folks from Laurelton; your prayers are welcome as well whether or not you can be there.

Our reading for today is a reminder that even when God's path is tough, we are not alone. The people of Judah were conquered and exiled from their home because they had turned away from God. God has the Prophet Jeremiah write to them that God is still watching out for them and that God is calling them to make a life full of blessing even in Babylon. Even if we're not where we feel like we should be, even if we are facing detours or tough times, God has not left us alone. There are always opportunities to seek the welfare of the city and be a vessel for God's blessing.

God bless,

Jeremiah 29:1-14
These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem. 3The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said: 4Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

8For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord. 10For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

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