Day 25

God’s People Brought Home

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 30:1-24, Jeremiah 31:1-40, Amos 5:18-20, Matthew 2:16-18

BY Kaitlin Wernet

You may have seen Siena, Italy, on the news, either because of the coronavirus-related quarantine in the area or because its residents were filmed singing from their windows in the face of such hardship, but it has long been one of my favorite places in the world. While Americans have football and the Super Bowl, the Sienese have horse races and the Il Palio di Siena every July and August. Not unlike our own strong team affiliations, these Italians are die-hard fans for their individual contrada, or city division. You see, Siena is divided into ten contrade, each represented by a horse and a rider donning representative colors and flags.

The race itself takes place in the city center, and includes three laps around the piazza which take roughly ninety seconds, on average. Yet it’s the most-anticipated and beloved ninety seconds of the year; the rest of the year is spent in support of their home-turf contrada, waving flags and supporting their horse and rider, as well as the division itself, a loyalty that is passed down through generations to enjoy and carry on into the future.

In Jeremiah 30, we read about another kind of communal loyalty to tradition. Judah thought they’d never see their own ancestral land again. God, however, had different plans, and a new covenant: “I will restore them to the land I gave to their ancestors and they will possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).

When I think of God’s people returning home, I can’t help but picture the reunion in the same style of celebration as Il Palio—bright colors, hooping and hollering, beaming with pride and excitement, as they “come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion… radiant with joy” (Jeremiah 31:12). Except this time, it’s God who is cheering on His children. It is He who is most excited to claim victory and freedom for His beloved and see them back home where they belong. Just as the Italians spent all year preparing for Il Palio, I like to picture God orchestrating the new covenant, anticipating radiant shouts of joy, long before His people returned home.

As we’ve journeyed through the book of Jeremiah, there have been warnings about the future and mountain-top moments of returning-home joy. But at the heart of this book and this Lenten season of remembrance and repentance is this: God can be trusted to hold both sorrow and joy, and He is faithful through it all. Thanks be to Him.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "God’s People Brought Home"

  1. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    Today’s reading is so on time for the situation that our world is in at this time. God’s promises of deliverance, protection and healing is awesome!! Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! That day is so great there is none like it”, reminds me of this new virus that we are dealing with but read the rest of the scripture, “Yet he shall be saved out of it.” God is good!!! Then God’s word goes on to say in Jeremiah 30:17, For I will restore health to you and your wounds I will heal… Jesus, I thank you for Your promises and I trust in Your word.

  2. Jenna says:

    Loving this study of Jeremiah! There were so many verses that stood out to me today, but Jeremiah 31:20 really spoke to me. “Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord. It’s really amazing to see God’s grace to us in discipling us as well as his everlasting love that longs to restore us to Himself.

  3. Claudia says:

    Thank you, Kaitlin, for such a refreshing devotional this morning. Today’s reading scripture was so encouraging as well. A footnote in Bible said ” Chapters 30 and 31 show that Jeremiah spoke of hope and consolation as well as trouble and gloom.” This really touched me because so many just preach the trouble and gloom without the hope and consolation. It’s important to remember that even we sin God still loves us and longs for us to return to him with sincere and repentant hearts. When we do, he is faithful to forgive us and restore us back to him. What a wonderful promise from our God!

  4. Dorothy says:

    After reading today’s scripture and devotional how can I not have hope and faith and a renewed sense of encourgement. This applies not only to now with this terrible virus going around but it applies to eveyday life. You see, Jeremiah 30:10 the first part tells us not to be afraid because God will save us. Jeremiah goes on to say in the first part of 30:17 God will heal us. God will heal us not just from physical illnesses but from emotional, mental and yes, even spiritual — especially spiritual illnesses. In Jeremiah 31:3 God lets us know He loves us with a love that will never, ever stop. God goes on to say in 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (NIV)” Jesus also says this in the New Testament. I believe Kaitlin sums it all up with this sentence, “God can be trusted to hold both sorrow and joy, and He is faithful through it all.” Oh how God has been there through my sorrows and joys and all I had to do is call out for Him.
    Lord, God give us the courage, the encourage, the knowledge, the hope and the faith we need right now to get through these troubling times. Help us to look at the happy and joyous times and through it all to remember You are there. You are our Rock, our Guide, our Great Physician and our One and Only and You can do anything. Amen.

  5. Brooke J. says:

    Loved having this mental image of Italy as I pray for their nation (as well as all the nations) this morning. And loved reading Jeremiah 31; what an image of God’s love & faithfulness. Trying to dwell on this passage more than I am dwelling on the news. Praying for all of my sisters in Christ out there xxx

  6. Kari Glemaker says:

    Thanks for the bit of orange coloring in the book! It was refreshing in a time of such grey!

  7. Mari V says:

    My daughter could not sleep last night. We went to bed with worship music on. Somehow we fell asleep. This morning she didn’t want me to leave her side. I have to go to work but she has to stay home. There’s no more school until April 6. At least that’s what they’re telling us. Tomorrow will be my last day at work since I work at a school but I will be “on call” if they need me to come help with more cleaning. So this morning, And my heart is so filled with joy, as my daughter (whose a teenager ) sat next to me and we read this devotion together. She enjoyed what Kaitlyn had to say this morning. And it gave her great peace. Please pray for her. She’s experiencing anxiety and it’s not due to her current situation with this virus. It’s life. But right now I enjoyed this moment of the two of us reading God‘s word of encouragement. Yes, God can be trusted both sorrow and joy. He is faithful.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Lizzie says:

    This is just what I have been learning too! Thank you, your words were so encouraging! God’s unfathomable, limitlessly perfect love reaches out to us Jeremiah 31:14. His justice disciplines us to bring us to a knowledge of His goodness Jeremiah 31:18. He forgives us because He wants us, He is our God, we are His people. Jeremiah 31:33-34. When things don’t look or feel right, I am forced to a place of need, and I am called to run to Him, and He is faithful to heal my incurable pain Jeremiah 30:17. And to draw near to me by the power of His everlasting love Jeremiah 31:3. Though I am helpless and unworthy He is my redeemer, He fills me with life through Jesus’s sacrifice and risen life! He says He has a plan, He will be found by me. Jeremiah 29:11-14. He fills me with His Spirit Romans 8:15. He is God, He is LORD! Psalm 119:89-96. So through the moments of uncertainty, I can seek Him with all my heart and know that He is enough, abundantly and incomprehensibly enough. Ephesians 3:14-19. I am His, His daughter, His people, His bride, and through His love, forgiveness, and life, He reaches down to me and draws me to Himself. Colossians 1:13-14.

    1. Jen Brewer says:

      Yes and amen!

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