Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11
I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.
Thought for the Day: This is one of the well known passages from the Prophet Jeremiah, and I must confess how it has found itself into my thinking on so many occasions in life…so many different occasions and situations. As I was working on my sermon for this past Sunday, it hit me again as I was typing out the quote I used from Rob Bell (How to be Here):
When we hold back our best efforts because of what happened in the past, we are letting the past decide the future. Is there any chance you are holding back because you were burned before. Is there any way you need to let the past be the past so that the future can be something new. Are there any critical voices that are running on repeat in your head holding you back from giving it everything you’ve got.
I tend to think God’s hopes and dreams for all of humanity are those of peace and health, yet too often the hope-filled future into which God is inviting us to participate is impossible to reach because of how rooted we are in the past. Don’t get me wrong, remembrances of the past can bring joy and wisdom, but too often it is not just remembering but reliving and repeating the past. God is inviting us to embrace the gift of forgiveness – the gift that helps us to relinquish the past’s hold on us. The future is made today – with lessons learned from the past – and while listening for the beckoning call of God to move into that future.
Prayer: By your immeasurable grace, God, let me be one who is informed by the past but does not live in the past; help me to offer forgiveness in those places where I am stuck; guide me into a future that is faithful to you and to all of creation. Amen.
Continuing With Jeremiah
This Coming Sunday
Are You Praying For Your Church?
Jessica Galvan will be teaching the ARK Program –
For both Church and Community People.
This is an excellent program for learning and sharing
God’s great gift of unconditional love.