The Pastor's Peace - October, 2010
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As I write this I have just come back from a pastor's group where we talked about several scripture readings, including Jeremiah chapter 32. In this section Jeremiah is told by God to buy land, land that is desolate and in the midst of utter destruction. Jeremiah is promised by God that there will be fertile gardens there in the future. From destruction will come prosperity.

I often joke that the prophets in the Old Testament are like broken records. The story always seems to be the same. We aren't doing what God wants, God is not happy, bad things are coming. Of course several prophets such as Jeremiah and Isaiah also talk about the beauty and new life that will eventually grow out of the desolation and destruction.

This theme of moving from destruction to rebuilding is central to many parts of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we hear this same story. As Christians the most poignant example of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Here we have complete destruction side by side with supreme glory and life eternal. Perhaps this movement from death to life is the central message of the Bible.

This message should be kept in mind as we struggle with so many things in our life. As we deal with our broken economy, let us remember that just like Jeremiah, God will take care of us in the future again, especially if we work to treat everyone with God's love and respect, as is so often required in the prophetic texts. When we think someone is beyond help, we should still keep hope alive, because God can work miracles in anyone's life, and who knows what might grow in someone's heart.

Often we lose sight of the horizon and focus only on what is wrong in the here and now. Let us never forget to keep hope alive and to work towards making a world that we want to see. As Paul said, we hope for what is not yet here. Jeremiah did not buy land because it was a hot property, but rather because he had faith in God providing in the future. May we have the same faith in our lives, in our church, and in the path God has led us. Some might accuse you of being a broken record, but I would rather be stuck on hope, than lost in despair. I hope you are stuck with me.

Peace,
Pastor Brian