Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14

Reflection: The words of today’s prophecy from Jeremiah were written to the exiles who had been carried away to Babylon. They are words of promise and restoration. God calls the people to celebrate because they are going to be returned to their home, and the life they will find there will be peaceful, abundant and just.

Notice two things in this prophecy.

Firstly, notice that those who are brought home are not just the wealthy or important, but also the weak and the vulnerable. God’s promise is not just for a connected few, but for all.

Secondly, notice how the nations are called to witness this restoration of Israel. Although God’s people have done nothing to make this happen, their return to their homeland is a witness to the nations. It reflects God’s compassion and commitment to God’s people and enables Israel to become – as the nation was always called to be – a people that is blessed to be a blessing. Through them all nations are invited to join the celebration and enjoy the blessing.

Today, give thanks for the blessings God has given you, and think about ways to share those blessings with others.

Practice for Today: The twin disciplines of thanksgiving and giving combine to give us a sense of abundance, peace and joy. When we take time to recognize all the goodness we enjoy, we can’t help but give thanks, and when we give thanks we are reminded of the goodness we enjoy. Then, as we look around us we can’t help but seek the same joy for others, which automatically leads us to be generous with our time, talents and treasures. Why not try to experience this virtuous circle for yourself today?

Prayer for Today: As I thank you, O God, for the blessings I enjoy, show me how to share them with others.