Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bible Book:

the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound, and the citadel set on its rightful site.” (v. 18)

Jeremiah 30:18-22 Wednesday 21 March 2018

Psalm: Psalm 102:1-11


There are few more distressing sights than a city devastated by warfare: Berlin in the aftermath of World War II, or Aleppo or Mosul today. Shattered buildings are signs of destroyed communities, and of whole webs of human relationships torn apart. There is something depressing in the knowledge that such sights have recurred again and again in the history of humanity. There is no shortage of them in the pages of the Bible. Time after time, Jerusalem has been a city breached, looted, humiliated and broken down. It is salutary to recall that even in the Christian era an army of Christian crusaders visited death and destruction on Jerusalem’s population.

In today’s passage, Jeremiah looks beyond the devastation of a defeated and despoiled Jerusalem and speaks of God’s promise to restore both its buildings and its communities. In just a few words he paints a picture of renewed human flourishing, of joyful celebration and the presence of a new generation.

But there is more to Jeremiah’s prophecy than the promise that good times will return; the most important renewal he looks for is in his people’s relationship with God: “you shall be my people and I will be your God” (v. 22).

We begin to see how Jeremiah’s words have been seen by Christians to point to the final victory of God in Christ and the establishment of God’s kingdom of peace. We are reminded of the vision of the city of God that comes at the end of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:10-27).

To Ponder

  • What pictures of urban destruction and renewal are familiar to you?
  • How different would our communities be if an awareness of God was at the centre of them?
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