- Henry Prater
Jeremiah 29: An Opportunity while apart.
Hello Edgemont Family!
I hope this post finds you doing well today. I mentioned last week that our Bishop and cabinet have asked us to continue to suspend worship through May 18th. I also mentioned that our leadership team is beginning to think about what it will look like when we come back together. There are a lot of questions around when that will be, what that will look like, and how we will make that happen. Yet, even in the middle of those questions, there is a longing to be back together, almost a hurry to get back to the way things were.
As I was thinking about that this morning, I was reminded of a Scripture passage from Jeremiah 29. I am not going to post the whole passage, but here is a link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+29&version=NIV. I encourage you to go and read that passage and meditate on it today, especially, verses 1-14. Many of us are familiar with verse 11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What we often miss is that these instructions were given to the people in the middle of their time in exile...a time in exile where they were going to be there for awhile. There would not be a quick return to the land of Israel; they were commanded to live and do well in the land they found themselves. It was during that time that God would find them, they would find God, and they would get to come home.
What does that say to us today as we seek to social distance in this time of a pandemic? We long for a return to normalcy and the way things were; yet, what might God be trying to show us in this time? I think God is calling us all in the midst of this storm to live in to being the church in ways we are not used to being. We are afforded the opportunity to seek God in new ways, to take time and go deeper in our faith. While we long for a return to in-person worship, let us not miss out on how God’s spirit is moving and calling us to Himself and to connect with each other in new ways.
I want to offer each of us a challenge this week. In addition to your normal scripture and study practices, join me in reading Jeremiah 29 this week. After each reading, go to the Lord in prayer, asking the Spirit to speak to us on how we should seek God during this time. Remember Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” I believe that Christ Jesus will guide us as we continue in this time.
He is Risen!