Good Morning Church!
Have you noticed little hints of spring yet? All through our garden, we have short green stalks sprouting out of the ground. Wildflowers and dogwood trees are in full bloom. At least I think they are dogwood trees. However, many of you may not have noticed the early life of spring. Instead, many of us have been so focused on the things related to the coronavirus.
Our nation and state have given us some more mandates and rules to abide by, and change is happening every day. And it seems as though change is the only thing that will stay consistent. Not only have there been changes daily, but the coronavirus has also brought pain. Those in K-12 no longer have school the remainder of this academic year. As a student, you may be experiencing pain, from missing your friends, sports, teachers, and maybe even some classes. I know high school and college seniors feel as though they are being robbed of so many memories right now. As a parent, you may be experiencing pain by your students being home all day every day, wishing they still had school. Joking aside, some of us are experiencing the pain of the loss of jobs and even loved ones.
I don’t bring up change and pain for the sake of dwelling on them, but rather because of their reality. We are in a place where change and pain surround us, but like the flowers beginning to bloom, there is an opportunity for us to sprout up in the midst of it.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah expresses his sorrow about his experiences and the experiences of his nation. In chapter 3:1-18, Jeremiah shares all the changes and pain in his life. He and Jerusalem have seen and are experiencing God’s wrath (1-3). He is physically wasting away (4-6). He feels like a prisoner in a dungeon (7-9). He has become the laughingstock of other people (14-15). And finally, Jeremiah feels crushed, depressed, and hopeless (16-20).
Wow, Jeremiah knew pain. He knew what it was like to have so much change in his life and nation. He also knew what it was like to be a prophet of God and speak for Him in a land where no one listened. We seem to resemble Jeremiah in a lot of ways right now.
But in Lamentations 3:21, Jeremiah’s perspective changes. F.B. Heuy writes, “His unbroken mood of despair was displaced by a beautiful affirmation of hope in spite of suffering.” Jeremiah says he remembers something and that this something brings hope. And in verse 22, we are given the reason to hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
24 I say, “The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.”
There are two reasons for this change in perspective. (1) remembering God’s great love, His steadfast and faithful love. (2) His mercies are new each morning, forever.
The challenge for each of us today is simple to say and hard to follow. It is to remember God’s, great love. In a few weeks, we will be celebrating Easter, where Jesus demonstrated His love for us by taking on our sins and dying on the cross. And three days later, on Sunday morning, rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. My appeal is the same as Jeremiah’s, make Jesus your portion, put your hope in Him. Why? Because His love never fails, it is steadfast. And each day, Jesus’ mercy, His loving care, is experienced in a fresh and new way.
Church, despite the things that are going on, I am so thankful for the opportunity God has given me to share with you each week in the morning. I am also grateful that each morning when I wake up, Jesus is on the throne, and He is waiting to meet with you and me. I want you to know that we, as a church staff, love you deeply and have been praying for you daily. And we would love to know what mercies you are thankful for today, so don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments or send us an email or text. We would love to hear from you.
For His Glory,