Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Returns


 
Israel Returns with Rejoicing
courtesy photobucket.com
 
Jeremiah 31:8-9  For I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of the earth.  I will not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women in labor.  A great company will return! 9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble, for I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my first born.

Pastor Jerry read from Jeremiah regarding the Israelites who had been in exile for many years, due to their disobedience and their worship of other Gods.  When they turned and repented for their sins, God allowed them to return again to their homeland.

Gleaning from his sermon, I noted that Pastor used the word RETURN in different ways:  Tax Return, Election returns, Investment returns, swallows return each year, as do other birds.  Soldiers return home from war.  Children return home from camp or college.

Seasons come and go and return again.  The Prodigal Son returned to his father.

The Harvest brings with it a return.  We sing the hymn, “Bringing in the Sheaves” to remind us of souls being won for the Lord.

The Israelites returned to Palestine after exile in Babylon.  Some were content to stay and live in Babylon as they had settled in and made Babylon their home.  There was a lot of back-sliding.  Some were satisfied with their life style in Babylon and with their foreign gods.

“Let us return to the Lord,” others said and they did.  It is always possible to return to God.  We must first have a change of heart with repentance, and a turning away from sin.

God is keeping His covenant.  We do not return to the “status quo” but to a New Covenant with new conditions and challenges.  Jesus brings us a new and living way.

Towns change, buildings are torn down and new shopping malls take their place.  We can return home to our old town, but it will not be the same.  We must begin fresh and new.

In the year 1947 Israel was declared a nation, and many Jews from over 100 nations returned to their homeland to live.  Not all is happiness when we return.  There may not be peace, but joy can be found in the turmoil.

What do we gain from understanding that we are all in exile of a sort.  Sometimes families change churches, or stop going to church all together.  It is time for new commitments and a return to our God.

It will be a Joyful time when Jesus returns for those who have received him as their savior.

Meanwhile may we have happy Returns of the day as we carry our light out into our world and allow Jesus to shine in and through us.

 
This post is Linked with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays
Also Linked up with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday

 

 

3 comments:

  1. Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all vital infos.

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    ReplyDelete
  2. I am studying the generations just after these exiles in the book of Nehemiah. They returned to a mess and became rather discouraged. Sometimes things don't go the way we expect when we return, but His plans are always glorious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never considered all the different ways "return" is used. So many different contexts. Neat to hear them put together like this. Must have been an enlightening sermon. I appreciate you sharing this with us, Hazel.

    ReplyDelete

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