As a 22-year-old, I began a new career in hydroelectricity on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba. This was a place of long cold winters, of muskeg swamps full of black flies, of thick forests, of reduced access to the rest of the world. On the other hand, it was a place of opportunity, where a young couple could start out in life, have their children and make a wonderful life for themselves and their little family. Scarcely an exile. Like many of our peer group, all in the same situation, our family made the best of it.
The people in today’s Jeremiah reading were indeed exiles, captives of an enemy power far away from home. The exile would be for the long haul, and they received advice to make the best of it: marry and be married, have children, grow gardens and eat of the produce. The welfare of their new home was their welfare, too, and they were encouraged to pray for it. Their Lord God was with them even in exile.
Lord God of hosts, please bless us, our homes and our communities; be with us no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Amen. — LI