April 8, 2020
A little over a week ago, Pastor Jeff referred to our current situation as a “social exile.” An exile is where people are removed from the comforts of their home and taken to a faraway land. We certainly are not forcibly removed from our homes, but we are restricted from each other and the comforts of our daily routines of work, school and social recreation.
The Bible Project produced an incredible animated video that makes the biblical understanding of exile easy to understand.
Centuries of investing, building and developing Israel’s kingdom came crashing down during one event, the Babylonian exile. This was God’s nation. Nothing was “supposed” to come against it, although Israel’s prophets offered countless warnings that continued disobedience and unfaithfulness would raise God’s defense system.
It needs to be said, the Covid-19 outbreak is not directly related to any particular sin for any particular people group, but rather is allowed to occur in our world separated from God where other terrible things occur. As poetically stated in Genesis 1, humanity was exiled from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience. Jesus now graciously paves the way for us back into relationship with God and is working towards ALL creation to be restored to its intended order.
No matter what kind of exile we find ourselves in, there is always hope, which God made clear through his prophets. What God asked of Israel then and asks of us now can be found within their words…
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
However long this “social exile” may be, let us call upon the LORD and seek God with all of our hearts. And let us thank God for his mercy and graciousness to us all.
Pastor Chris Tansey