Greetings in Christ!
This week’s first reading comes from Lamentations 3, where we hear, in part, that, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
There’s powerful information in that first word, yet. You see, Jeremiah, the prophet and author of Lamentations, witnessed the fall of Jerusalem firsthand. This book gives us chapters of his grieved witness as he sees the holy city overrun and watches the temple overthrown. Yet, despite all this calamity, Jeremiah calls to mind the love of God, the compassionate, faithful renewal of God’s mercy. And so, inexplicably, he has hope.
There was an incredible yet this week after the Charleston terror attacks. Though the families of the Charleston 9 were justified in righteous anger and despair, they instead brought words of forgiveness to the bond hearing for the shooter. In the face of racism and violence, they spoke words of mercy and peace. Like Jeremiah, their futures were torn away, yet like Jeremiah they embraced the love of God so inexplicably that they found hope in the midst of a hopeless situation.
This week, continue in prayer for the congregation at Emanuel AME and especially the families of the victims. Learn from the prophets who stand at the heart of destruction and yet trust in God. Work for peace and justice for all people, especially those victimized by hate, oppression, prejudice, and violence. Like Jeremiah, like Emanuel AME, live the daring hope of God against all odds.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Andrew Tucker
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