The Lord proclaims:
Sing joyfully for the people of Jacob;
shout for the leading nation.
Raise your voices with praise and call out:
“The Lord has saved his people,
the remaining few in Israel!”
I’m going to bring them back from the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the disabled,
expectant mothers and those in labor;
a great throng will return here.
With tears of joy they will come;
while they pray, I will bring them back.
I will lead them by quiet streams
and on smooth paths so they don’t stumble.
I will be Israel’s father,
Ephraim will be my oldest child.
Listen to the Lord’s word, you nations,
and announce it to the distant islands:
The one who scattered Israel will gather them
and keep them safe, as a shepherd his flock.
The Lord will rescue the people of Jacob
and deliver them from the power of those stronger than they are.
They will come shouting for joy on the hills of Zion,
jubilant over the Lord’s gifts:
grain, wine, oil, flocks, and herds.
Their lives will be like a lush garden;
they will grieve no more.
Then the young women will dance for joy;
the young and old men will join in.
I will turn their mourning into laughter
and their sadness into joy;
I will comfort them.
Jeremiah 31: 7 – 13
Creator of all people, we ask for strength to use the gifts you give us for our neighbors. We ask for safety for those in peril in their homes. Please empower those who find themselves silenced by and helpless in systems beyond their control. We pray for those who have lost dreams and promises. Send your encouragement to the hopeless and fearful. Show us how to stand with them. Comfort them in your faithfulness. #ACoBAmen
*This #BlessedBreak was inspired by our congregational participation in Doorways‘ “Purple Out,” a Domestic Violence Awareness Month event. We all wore purple for a group picture to raise awareness, support survivors and take a stand against domestic violence. The prayer was adapted from Seasons of the Spirit.