Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sunday lectionary devotion: Bounty - Jeremiah 31 v 14

Jeremiah 31:14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my
bounty," declares the LORD.

One of my all-time favorite movies is "Mutiny on the Bounty", starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard. My Dad took me to it when it was first released in Britain. I was six years old at the time and although I didn't really understand it, I loved the Polynesian scenery, the old British naval costumes and, of course, the galleon itself. Years later, when I grew interested in building plastic airplanes, cars and ships, my Uncle Ian gave me model of the Bounty, which he patiently made and painted as a teenager.

"Bounty" is a word that we normally associate with rewards for capturing wanted outlaws, but in this context the old Hebrew word "tuwh" means something beautiful, something that gladdens the heart, and something that benefits the beholder. So when God declares that He will fill His people with His bounty, He is promising to do something beautiful that will gladden the people and strengthen them.

Today, we can experience the same through the gift of the Holy Spirit in our churches, homes and hearts. Christ's bounty is gladly given to Christian believers, so that we can share these cherished blessings to our broken community. And in the midst of a sad and dangerous world, the bounty of God's blessings is much needed amongst us.

Prayer: Bountiful God, we thank You for the beautiful blessings that bring gladness and strength into our lives. Help us to share these gifts with those who need to know of Your love and who seek Your loving grace. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also writes the weekday devotional blog Heaven's Highway.

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