The title of our entry implies that we are “holding” on to hope and/or “keeping hope alive”, excuse the cliche, as we move forward. In our Sunday Church School classes, we have completed a study of the book of Jeremiah, and specifically focused on destruction and restoration. Because of repeated and blatant sin, God brought His wrath against His chosen people, the Israelites. When I say repeated and blatant sin, it was all that, and more. But are we so different in this 21st century? Don’t we commit sins which are repeated and blatant? Even though God’s punishment, if you will, was harsh and the duration 70 years, during the last several chapters, God sent word through his prophet Jeremiah, words of consolation. Now I’m not going to repeat all of the scriptures in this text, because really I want you to read the book:), but I will point out that through it all, God is saying that He wants us to be His people, and He wants to be our God. If you have ever felt like giving up and that you can never get back on the right track, read the book of Jeremiah. God makes it very clear that although disregard for His principles will bring very unpleasant consequences, He stands ready to forgive and to restore. The last several chapters are referred to as the chapters of “consolation”, and that’s a very apt description. If you want to be uplifted, read the book of Jeremiah. If you want to feel like you are really special and that God loves just you, read the last several chapters and see how God says He is going to take care of you after the battle is over. Sometimes we are engaged in battle because of our own choices, and other times, we are in the battle because “life happens”. In either case, God is your source. He is your answer.
In light of the scriptures references and the fact that our focus has been holding on to hope, what implications do you see for our society today? How should we help others hold on to hope when it seems like all hope is gone? When we think about all that is happening in our world today, and how it seems to be so easy for our youth and our protectors to take a life, how do we help those who are despondent and disillusioned have hope for tomorrow? Do you feel there are any situations which are beyond the saving grace of God? Finally, what is our response to those who have returned from prison or those who have gotten up after falling from grace?
Learning to apply scripture to our daily lives is what helps us to embrace our challenges and live the type of lives God has designed for us. Join in the conversation and let us know what you are thinking and what questions you have about the questions we raised. You also have an open invitation to join us at Weeping Willow for one of our Worship Experiences: Morning Glory @ 8:00am and The Worship Experience @ 10:30 am–both on Sunday Mornings. W.O.W. (Worship on Wednesday @ 12:00 pm and 6:30pm, and Sunday Church School @ 9:30 each Sunday Morning.