December 5, Saturday                    
Fresh Sprouts: Envisioning a greater reality

Jeremiah 33:14-16 (NRSV)

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

I love green things. I've even attempted to grow herbs and spices in urban areas that had limited green space. Now that I'm back in my hometown in Southeast Arkansas, I am graced with the endless possibilities of the rich, fertile soil of the Mississippi Delta. Yet, my gardening knowledge and skills leave much to be desired. 

So, as the fall weather awakened and I neglected to water the once bright yellow mums that decorated my doorway, I reminisced on how beautiful the mums had been and prepared to lay the dying mums to rest.

Then, one day my eighty-seven-year-old grandmother stopped by my house and said, "You know they will come back." "What will come back?" I asked. My grandma said, "Those mums will come back.” She said, "When those last blooms fall off, just plant them in the ground and they will come back next year."

I was so thankful that my grandmother who is a master gardener could see beyond the fading blooms of my once yellow mums. Like the Prophet Jeremiah, my grandmother was aware of a greater reality.

Despite Jeremiah's incarceration and the Babylonian-induced desolation, the Prophet Jeremiah brilliantly described a bright and prosperous future for the house of Israel and of Judah.  

Jailed for his prophetic boldness, the Prophet Jeremiah bravely continued to speak truth to power and proclaimed the coming cultivation of a “righteous Branch” in the garden of God's grace. This “righteous Branch” would restore all that the enemy had destroyed. 

Jeremiah and my grandmother's prophetic witness reminds me that we serve a God who still rights wrongs and still brings life to seemingly hopeless situations.

We serve a God who is willing and able to show us a greater reality.

Despite the dire or seemingly dead situations in your life, I invite you to lean forward and see the Lord our Righteousness. I invite you to lean forward and see the Lord our Healer. I invite you to lean forward and see the Lord our Vindicator. I invite you to lean forward and see the Lord our Restorer. I invite you to lean forward and envision a greater reality, water it with faith and expect a fresh new sprout of hope to bloom as we await the coming of our Lord.

Reflection
In what way has your human understanding limited your divine expectations?

Prayer (Adapted from Jeremiah 33:3)
Thank You Oh Lord for Your promise that invites me to call upon You and You will answer and Show me a Greater Reality that I did not know. Amen.

 

By Demetria Edwards, CBFAR Coordinating Council member
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Lake Village

 

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