Bible Workbench: Christmas 2: January 3, 2010

Text: Jeremiah 31:7-14

Jeremiah did not go into exile with his people; he writes for those who were left behind after the Babylonians took the upper levels of the culture back to Babylon in a series of three deportations.  For those left behind, the situation was dire – wells were poisoned, soil salted; it is thought that the book of Lamentations was written during this time.  Those who survived went to Egypt out of hunger and desperation.  Jeremiah’s consolation was that there would be a remnant, some who would eventually go home, and recreate a world. With weeping they will come and with consolations I will lead them back, says God, through Jeremiah.  I will turn their mourning into joy, says the Lord.

Who are those who are “left behind” in the world you live in, at work, at home?  What in you has been “left behind”?  What would it take to gather the remnants of that, and take it home?  What weeping, what consolation, what mourning, what joy would walk with you?  Why make the trip?  What waits for you there?

– Beth Harrison


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