Friday, June 20, 2008

this is what we are working for

"At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel and they shall be my people. The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness. When Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, Oh Virgin Israel! [...] Again you will plant vineyards; the planters shall plant and enjoy the fruit. [...] Behold I will bring them from the North Country, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return. With weeping they will come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a strait path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O Nations, and declare it in the coastlands for away; say 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep as a shepherd keeps his flock. for the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.'" Jeremiah 31 (selections) This is the kingdom we are proclaiming. This is ultimate rest, the ultimate restoration of all things. We are called to proclaim it, we are called even to begin ushering it in...but only in the confidence that one day it will be fully and finally present. There are days that I drive around the Bay and just want to walk away...the pain is big-bigger than any of us is capable of restoring. I watched the movie Hotel Rwawanda the other night, and I wept because the pain is so big. It's beyond any of us. It is more than any human, any program, and social service, military strategy, or philanthropic organization can handle. It's a hurt that runs to the deepest part of human beings. The beauty of this verse is that God promises, PROMISES to "redeem Jacob from the hands too strong for him [Jacob]." This is the all encompassing redemption that no social service can offer. It is why, when Lagniappe was planted, we were planted as a CHURCH, not a relief program. It is the only reason we can continue serving in a community with overwhelming need...there is one behind us who is sufficient for the task. There is a King coming; of this we are confident. "I will turn their mourning into Joy; I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow...and my people will be satisfied with my goodness," declares the Lord.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Praise the Lord- it is so great to know that although we personally cannot even begin to complete these things on our own- and on the days where the hurt of the world seems to be overcoming us, that we know our Father is here and has promised to restore people and that He can this pain and suffering.

Sarah, you have a great way with words by the way. Keep up the great work.