Good afternoon everyone,
I hope you are all doing well. I really enjoyed this past Sunday and hearing Helen and Cassie share their stories. If you haven’t had a chance to stand up and share and you feel led to do so, please let me or one of the elder’s know! We’d love to hear from you.
This coming Sunday is going to be a lot of fun as well.
My friend Seth Martin is going to be visiting us and leading us in worship through music. I met Seth last year at a small gathering in Portland and was really blessed by his music. I heard from him today and he said he’s somewhere in Oklahoma City traveling back to the NW (after a tour), so be sure to say a prayer for his safe travels back home. You might also be interested to know that he’s also a graduate of George Fox University and has lived in an intentional community that worshiped together weekly in the manner of Friends. So I think you’re going to enjoy this.
(Also, remember my invitation to bring makeshift instruments, drums, etc. on Sunday for worship. Emily told me that I should probably let you know I was being serious what I said that!)
This Week in Jeremiah
I am really excited to talk with all of you about the text this week. It comes from Jeremiah 29:1-7 and was a message given to Jeremiah to all the people living in exile under the Babylonian empire. Here’s what it says:
These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem. The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
- What stands out to you as important about this passage?
- Do you think this came as a comforting or disturbing word?
- How do you think the first hearers understood what it meant to "seek the welfare of the city?" What about us?
- Does this passage remind you of anything else in the Hebrew Bible?