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Scripture: Jeremiah 31:15-17
Many of us read the first part of this passage, and we know that feeling of mourning, for we have felt it the past few days. But out of mourning will come hope. Sorrow will turn to joy. The people were taken into exile–taken from all they knew, and thrust into a foreign land. Experiencing death is like exile, being thrust into an unknown, dark place–where only grief is known. But the prophet speaks of hope. This hope does not come right away–it took at least sixty-seven years between the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem to the remnant seeing signs of hope for return–but the prophet spoke words of hope for them, words that they clung to, until the hope was revealed. So we, too, speak the words of hope, courage, joy and light in this time of darkness. It is still dark. But the light will come, and indeed, we know it is coming soon.
Prayer: God of Light, shine in our darkness. Give us hope, give us joy, give us courage and light, and even though we’re not quite ready for it, guide our hearts into the direction of hope. Help us to be living hope for all people. In the name of the Christ, who is coming, we pray. Amen.