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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Jeremiah 23:3–4

Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. (NRSV)

In today’s text we are provided with an image of people from “all countries” being cared for and protected. The text further declares that these people shall no longer live a life of fear, dismay, and lacking, but rather one in which they will be fruitful and prosper. In our current state of affairs, it is hard to read this scripture without thinking about the countless refugees around the world who seek that very same protection but too often find themselves without a shepherd to guide them, a flock in which to make their home.

There are so many people today without a home to return to. Some because of political turmoil, others from natural disasters, and some still from economic oppression. Yet in this scripture we are promised a home within God, one in which we may prosper and be fruitful.

The description of a shepherd and his flock is one often used throughout biblical texts. In order to survive and thrive, the sheep needed to live together. So too must we live together in unison, with people from all countries and walks of life, and provide one another with the same hospitality and protection that God has granted us.

O gracious God, we pray that you be with those who have been driven out of their homes and countries. We pray that you help restore peace and order in the war-torn areas of our world and that you help us rebuild in the communities that have been devastated by natural disasters. We thank you for your promise of a home in heaven and Christ and pray that you continue to help guide us to open our own homes and communities to those most in need. Amen.

Written by Stephanie Jenks, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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