In today’s section of Jeremiah, God is promising the Israelites a return to normal. It has been so long that captivity and exile have become almost normal for them. But their faith in God has kept them connected to and in touch with what is their normal homeland. Thus they long to return and to once again live in safety under God’s protection. It is a great place to live.
For most of us, this is were we exist. We live a relatively comfortable and secure life. There is food in the fridge and gas in the car. The house is warm and is secure. Employment will be at the same place tomorrow and my family will be around me in the evening. This indeed is wonderful ‘normal’ and a great place to live.
But for some this is not the case. In our call to care for the poor and needy, this situation disturbs my peace. Even though it got down to the low single digits last night, some people slept outside. Many of the people without the basics we take for granted will abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a means to cope with the despair, hopelessness, and other feelings generated by their situations. The substance abuse often leads to an increase in the acts of violence on the streets and to the higher levels of fear that permeate the homeless community. I do not think I would last long in this world, but it is ‘normal’ for far too many people.
So what is God calling me to do? Is it to donate warm clothing to the local shelter? Is it to volunteer time at the nearby day center? Is it to teach a class that empowers one who is struggling to make positive changes in their life? It may be one or more of these or something entirely different. Lord, help me to discern where and how You are sending me to be in ministry to those in need.
Scripture reference: Jeremiah 31: 10-14