"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14 Commentary
by Corrine Carvalho
Home. It is a word that evokes strong emotions, an idealized place even in the face of harsh reality.
We yearn to feel “home,” a place full of love, security, comfort. Sometimes “home” is found in a domicile, sometimes in a familiar landscape, sometimes even in another person. Church can feel like home.
This chapter in Jeremiah focuses on the yearning for a home that is far off, a loss of home that has shaken the very identity of the ancient Israelites. The passage offers cool comfort in its prediction that this loss will last a very long time.
The book of Jeremiah reflects the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587 BCE. With this devastation, two diaspora groups were formed: the elite who were exiled to Babylon, and the poorer people who became refugees in places like Egypt. This passage is ostensibly addressed to the first group, those who suffered violent forced migration, and who had become cheap labor for their overlords. But much of what it says could apply to both diaspora groups.
Biblical texts suggest ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 101: Jeremiah
November 24, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Nov. 24, 2013: Jeremiah 29:1,4-14 (corresponding Gospel: John 14:27).