Prayer: Dear God, when we feel alone, help us to remember we belong to you. Amen
Reading: Jeremiah 31: 31-34 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
I will be their God, and they shall be my people. --Jeremiah 33: 33c
Overheard on the bus one day: "I got kicked out of school." "We don't know where we are going to live after we lose the house." "My (adult) brother is taking me to the doctor because my mom won't." The speaker longed for belonging. My heart ached and I did not know what to say. I was also eavesdropping and glad the person who was actually in the conversation was being a good listener and caring support.
Still I wanted to share this message: "You belong to God!" Sure, I may need to come up with more practical encouragement like make a fresh start in the new alternative school and suggest to the brother to seek out agencies to help with bills and budgeting. And that even if people let you down, God's love is written on your hearts.
I hope I see this young girl again. I will say hello and kindly ask how she is doing because there is belonging even among bus riders. -- Ruth Gates
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