Read Jeremiah 33:14-16.
“The days are coming” is a classic opener for a piece of prophecy. Jeremiah, more than any other prophet, heard the Lord speak this way and recorded it more than a dozen times in the book that bears his name. Poetically speaking, Scripture says that the days are “swift” or “past” or they are “like an evening shadow” or “like the grass which withers.” But prophetically, as well as chronologically, the days are coming.
For Jeremiah, the future was both dreadful and hopeful. The coming days would bring redemption and the growth of the Righteous Branch. But in the current days, Jeremiah is trapped in Jerusalem, besieged on all sides by an enemy, and God has already told Jeremiah that Jerusalem will fall.
For us, the future is many things but probably most of all: unclear. We think that if we know what is coming, we will fare better. Jeremiah saw the future clearly, but still suffered.
Just as it was with Jeremiah, we live in a world in which we suffer hardship, pain, and sin. But we also have in common the sure promise of fulfillment that is coming ‘in those days.’ More than Jeremiah, we have seen Christ and we have already received the Gospel. We see the growth of the Righteous
Branch which springs up from the stump of the tree, life emerging from death.
Are we there yet? Not yet, at least not fully – but the days are coming.
God Our Righteousness, may your future become our present. Let us experience the joy of our salvation and the life of the Righteous Branch, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.
Rev. Noah McIntee
Editor’s Note: This reflection and prayer are part of our new companion guide, which also features additional resources for each Sunday in Advent and Christmas, including candle lighting liturgies, context about the Scripture readings, and discussion questions. Find the companion guide here.