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. Meggie Trusty says:

    I love LOVE the last sentence in her devotional when she says “God can be trusted to hold both sorrow and joy and He is faithful through it all.”

  2. Katy Scott says:

    “Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears for there is work to be done” is the message this scared RN needed today. Thankful for hope in the future, in mercy. We can do hard things.

  3. Eva-Marie Hester says:

    Praise be to God for His new covenant to us! Thanks be to Him for His faithfulness and love towards us through times of joy, sorry, repentance and celebration. And, thank You for the promise of an eternal home!

  4. Laura Theobald says:

    I needed these words tonight. This pandemic hit close to home for me today- I lost a guy I knew in college to COVID-19. I wasn’t close to him, but I went to a small college and we were both in the Greek system. He was only 34 and relatively healthy before catching the virus. I am now off of work and going crazy with anxiety. I need to hold true to the promise of Easter. Even though it will be a different kind of Easter, I need my mourning to turn into joy. There has to be joy again.

  5. Parasa says:

    I am glad that I am under control of such an amazing God the Saviour. Thank you my Lord God Almighty.

  6. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love the fact that God restores his people to himself. It doesn’t matter how far we have strayed, he has a plan to win us back! This passage gave me such hope for our current situation. While I believe this situation wasn’t God’s doing, I believe that God will use this virus to get our attention and he will being good out of it. I also am comforted to know that there will be singing, dancing and laughing again. Our world will be healed soon.

  7. tanya b says:

    33“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

  8. Linly Karshagen says:

    Honestly, today I was just so overwhelmed with a new sense of God’s love and grace for his people regardless of their actions and his unwavering, faithful presence with them through the deepest and darkest valleys. Jeremiah 31:37 ❤️

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