A Jewel Among the Ashes


Around this time of the summer every year, Jewish people recall the great sadness of the destruction of two Temples in Jerusalem. (July 22, this year.) The first one was 586 years before Christ, and the second, the rebuilt one, was destroyed by a Roman army 70 years after Jesus’ birth. Part of the wall of the Temple still stands today in Jerusalem called “The Wailing Wall.” People go and pray with their outstretched palms touching the wall.

The reading in synagogues is from the book of Lamentations which tells about the suffering of God’s people during the Exile when they were captured and taken to Babylonia after their Temple was destroyed. Not only were they hostages of a wicked king, but when they returned to Jerusalem, all they could remember was the wicked army that destroyed their Temple.

Verses 22-23 of the third chapter rise up like a jewel among the ashes of the suffering described in the book of Lamentations. The verses became part of the beautiful hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” by Thomas Chisholm. Let us pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters and all those whose lives in their home country are threatened by enemies.

Lamentations 3:19-33

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Mercies new every morning v. 23
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the ninth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Hosea,
with Lamentations 3 in the Ninth Week.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…