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As we come to the end of this first week of Advent I invite you to think about the neighbourhood in which you live. Have you had a telephone conversation with any of the neighbours? What sort of feelings did you pick up? A growing sense of helplessness due to the pandemic restrictions?

The Prophet Jeremiah expresses such helplessness in his second book, Lamentations, written after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. His prophetic messages prior to the fall of the city had gone unheeded and now the city lies in ruins. Those who survived are exiles in captivity. The sins of the people had pushed them away from God. Jeremiah weeps and laments over his people. However in the midst of his sorrow and helplessness, Jeremiah still expresses hope.

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:21-24 NLT)

May we too find hope as we remember God’s faithfulness. Thanks be to God!