Jeremiah 33:14-16 (NRSV)
Verse 14The 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. Verse 15In 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. Verse 16In 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."
Our kitchen calendar, one month to a page, each with squares waiting to be filled in with the stuff of daily life, has a clear beginning and a clear ending. On December 31 the old calendar is taken down and on January 1 a new calendar takes its place. Changes in the church’s calendar are not so abrupt—endings and beginnings flow into one another, an ever-circling spiral of God-given times and seasons. This week, the end is indeed where we start from, reflecting on the texts for the First Sunday in Advent while living in the last week of the church year. Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord to a people living with disaster, uncertainty, and guilt over their unfaithfulness to God; it must have felt like their world had ended. “The days are surely coming” could be heard as a word of judgment. Instead, through the prophet, a faithful God promises to fulfill the promise of restoration, salvation, and safety in God’s own waiting heart. That promise is also ours.
God of holy endings and sacred beginnings, sustain us in these “between times” with your presence and your promise. Amen.