Going Deeper 12.30.2020

The first reading for the second Sunday of Christmas... Jeremiah 31:10-14

10Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” 11For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. 13Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord.

This phrase catches my attention this morning: "redeemed him from hands too strong for him."  ‚ÄčThere are messes--most of our own making-- which we simply cannot get ourselves out of without help.  There are times when we need to recognize our utter helplessness.

For many of us, this is hard to do.  We have been raised to be confident, to rise to the meet whatever challenges life might throw at us.  I know I was taught that sometimes a guy just has to pick himself up by his own bootstraps.  The problem is... that particular action is physically impossible!  Try it sometime.  You can't even lift a tiny bit of your own weight that way.  Again, there are times when we need to recognize our inability to rescue ourselves, there are messes which are simply too big, messes that call for a Messiah!  There are times when we need to be rescued.

It is into such a time that Jeremiah is speaking in our text.  Jacob/Israel is experiencing desperate times, and things seem hopeless.  But with God, all things are possible.  Not only that, God loves His children and desires that we look to Him as our Deliverer, our Savior.  That is the blessing that comes from hardship... we learn to trust in God.

You know... times like these.

With You in His Care,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"