Today’s devotional brings a glimmer of hope to our dark, troubled world as we journey through Advent this year in the midst of the strife and chaos all around us.
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.'” Jeremiah 33:14-16 (NRSV)
Advent is about hope.
When Jeremiah heard these words from God, the yawning chasm of hopelessness was already opening up to swallow his world. Jeremiah was in chains, a political prisoner because King Zedekiah disapproved of Jeremiah’s message of God’s coming judgment. However, even while Jeremiah was imprisoned, the prophecy that had run him afoul of the king began to come true, as the armies of Babylon approached Jerusalem. By the time these words above came to Jeremiah (verses 1-13 tell us), the streets of the city were desolate, as many of the townspeople had already fled. The city itself was in ruins, as many of the houses had been pulled down in a desperate attempt to make defense-works against the imminent invasion. And Jeremiah knew that further waves of death and destruction were about to strike; he had already prophesied that the Babylonians would fill the city with the bodies of the dead.
And yet… in the midst of a world falling apart, God promised that someday–and the days are surely coming–everything would be made right. Justice and righteousness would be established in the land, and safety and peace would replace the horrors of violence and war.
And this is still the hope for which we wait. So many years after Jeremiah, in Advent in the Year of our Lord 2015, our world, too, shows many signs of falling apart. I write this devotion in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Bamako, while entire continue reading
(c) Andrew K. Lee SFTS/GTU MA 2015; GTU Ph.D. Student Used with permission San Francisco Theological Seminary