READ : Jeremiah 30:1-22
Out of them shall come thanksgiving, and the sound of merrymakers. (v. 19 NRSV)
The days were dark in the time of Jeremiah. The southern kingdom of Judah was facing judgment, ruin, and captivity by the Babylonians. The people of Jeremiah’s day were reaping the bitter fruit of their failure to follow the ways of God.
But this part of Jeremiah’s prophecy contains words of comfort and hope. In fact, chapters 30 and 31 are called the Book of Consolation. “I will restore your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord. I will have compassion on you and the great city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt.” And out of this rebuilt city will come songs of thanksgiving and the sounds of merrymakers.
Songs of thanksgiving, such as For the Beauty of the Earth and Now Thank We All Our God, and the sounds of merrymakers—can you hear them? The voices of your children and grandchildren at their birthday parties. The chatter of family when decorating the Christmas tree and the shrieks of joy when opening presents. Noisemakers on New Year’s Eve. The organ or piano or string quartet at the wedding and the clink of glasses at the reception. All sounds of merrymakers. Such is the music of thanksgiving.
God of new beginnings, help us to make and to hear the sounds of merrymakers, giving thanks to you from whom all good things flow.