Do you have a longing that nothing,
not even the best things on earth, can satisfy?
C. S. Lewis says that the most probable explanation is that
we were made for another world.
In All Things New, John Eldredge said many try to fill that God-given
“longing for home” by building their Kingdom on earth,
but it can’t be done.
Not the top of a career, or the most fantastic dream home,
Solomon, who was the wealthiest and most powerful man on earth,
did us the favor of rushing headlong into
various pursuits “under the sun” and concluded:
Our own Jackie sent me this video by Andrew Peterson
and I am so excited for you to see it.
Watch it until you can respond as the choir does,
to Peterson’s scripture-infused lyrics.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday: Hold On To Me As We Go
The bestselling song of all the American Idols shows, was the favorite, I think, because it touched into this longing for home. I also love to think of the lyrics as something Jesus might say to us if we are fearing passing through the valley of the shadow of death. When my husband was in his last few months of life, he had a dream of demons taking him to hell, but then he said, “NO! I belong to Jesus!” The demons fled at the name and angels carried him toward heaven. The lyrics about “playing no mind to the demons who fill us with fear,” is something I can imagine our Lord saying to His beloved:
2. Comments on the above? When you are “passing through,” if conscious of it, how will you speak to your soul and to your loved ones?
3. If you have been privileged to be with a loved one who is a believer and “passing through” what do you remember?
4. What meditations do you have on Psalm 23:4?
Tuesday: Seeing the Mountain Peaks of Prophecy
Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and many of the prophets speak the how the Israelites will one day be freed from the captivity in Babylon, coming “home” rejoicing. Yet as Keller says, “these prophecies are over the top” pointing to a much better release from our captivity to an amazing promised land.
5. Ezekiel describes the land the captives are going to be released to in Ezekiel 36:33-36 — how do you think this is “over the top” for this earth?
6. Read Jeremiah 31:10-14. Again, what images are “over the top” for this earth? What stands out to you?
7. Slavery is an apt picture for the sorrows of this earth, for even the land groans, awaiting its release from the curse. What promise is given in Jeremiah 31:14 and how does this contrast with what Solomon experienced in Ecclesiastes?
Rachel Weeping For Her Children
We know from our studies in Isaiah that the Assyrians dashed the babies of the Israelites against the rocks and then took them captive as slaves. Jeremiah adds the location of this, telling us the Jews were assembled in Ramah and put in chains. Likewise, Jacob’s wife, Rachel, died near Ramah giving birth to a son. And again, when Jesus was born, baby boys were slaughtered and “Rachels” wept.
8. Challenge question: What are some of the kinds of sorrow you see under the umbrella of “Rachel weeping for her children? According to the above historical incidents?
9. Read Jeremiah 31:15-17 and how do you see hope, even for those who have lost children on this earth?
Wednesday: Written on our Hearts
10. Read Jeremiah 31:31-34 and share anything that stands out to you and why.
11. The Old Covenant was the law and depended upon man. How is the New Covenant different?
12. How can you see both the time after Pentecost here, but also, what it will be like in the New Heaven and the New Earth?
Thursday-Friday: Keller Sermon
13. Listen and share your comments and notes.
14. What is your take-a-way and why?