by Norma Koehne
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I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness (Jeremiah 31:3b).
God does not give up on his people. His love is everlasting, and his kindness is unfailing. He has proved this as we read the history of the Jewish nation in the Old Testament. They were God’s chosen people, the ones through whom he would bring salvation to all nations with the birth of his Son. He performed amazing miracles for his people as he took them out of slavery in Egypt and continued to show his everlasting love and kindness to them.
And yet, they turned their backs on him, preferring to worship other gods, such as the golden calf and fertility gods like Baal in Canaan. To bring the Israelites back to him, he disciplined them, but he always promised to restore them. In the time of Jeremiah, they were taken into captivity in Babylon, but God promised to build them up again and restore them. They would plant crops, worship again in Zion and sing and dance for joy.
In many ways, our western societies are like the Israelites of old, turning their backs on God and worshipping false gods. They may not be gods of wood and stone, but we worship ourselves, knowledge and achievements. We have ‘itching ears’ for every new ‘ism’ that pervades our society.
God does not give up on us. When we are tempted to follow the prevailing ideology of the world, God reminds us that he loves us with an everlasting love. We are his baptised children, and he will never let go of us; he holds us in the palm of his hand. As we partake of Jesus’ body and blood in the sacrament, we are reassured that we are forgiven and loved. Praise God for his unfailing kindness.
Loving Father, your love for me is constant and unfailing. Forgive me for the times I have not been constant in my love for you. Restore me through your word and sacraments to strengthen my faith and love. Amen.
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