Melissa brought the sermon based on Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14. “You’re going to live here and you’re going to die here,” is not what those taken from Jerusalem and living in exile in Babylon wanted to hear. They ended up being changed by their neighbors in the process of living among them.
Our faith is tied up in the flourishing of our neighbors. As we live out our faith, the boundaries between “us” and “them” fade in and out of view. While it’s easier to build up our own tribe than to be enmeshed in the lives of those around us, our wholeness is bound up in the wholeness of others we encounter.
When it comes to the end of the story though, we will discover we are not Judah. We are Babylon. We are here today as a Gentile people, grafted into the life of God’s chosen people because God made the boundary between God’s people and those of us outside the covenant porous. In Jesus’ body and blood, we have been brought here.