I bumped into Jeremiah the other day. He was in the Open the Book ‘Christian Values’ book. The aim of Open the Book is ‘bringing the Bible to life for every child in every primary school.’ Thank you for your prayers for the church’s on-going ministry to children in the school next door – please keep praying.
Jeremiah is in a chapter entitled ‘Hope’. This in itself provokes a hesitant response. Hope? How come? The story of Jeremiah takes place during dark years of the people’s faithlessness towards God. Subsequently there was an invasion, Jerusalem was under siege and finally the city collapses; it is brutal, relentless and heart-breaking.
Where is hope? Amidst all this, Jeremiah is told by God to buy a field! This doesn’t seem to suit the situation at all. So what is going on? Buying a field just as the country was going to be conquered proved to be a sign from God to Jeremiah that, from the destruction of today, there would come a future new beginning. Light would once more scatter the present experience of deep darkness. The purchase of the field was a tangible sign of hope for the future.
Christian hope likewise, is something that looks forward. Ultimately our hope is in the promise that the day will come when God ‘will bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ’ – this will be ‘when the times have reached their fulfilment.’ Our life today, as a church family and as individuals, is to be lived out in the light of this glorious truth.
This kind of hope is not of the wistfulness variety that lacks assurance. Our hope is none other than the word of God – this word because it remains his word, is rock-solid. When tested in the furnaces of life our hope stands sure. Whatever kind of darkness might be overshadowing you currently, the light of true hope beckons – as it does for all of us. The poet longed for ‘a star to steer by’; we have God’s word, not only as print on a page, but dynamic and alive within us. Hope today, reality in God’s tomorrow – what a journey, what a God! Praise him for ever!
Blessings and Love,