Most people in the church know something of this storyline: Judah rebelled against God and persisted in idolatrous practices in spite of myriad warnings, so God eventually sent Babylon to conquer Jerusalem and take many captives to Babylon.
What many people don’t know is how this theme actually reflects something much more than just that relatively short period of history. The entire biblical story–and many of the stories within Scripture–can be framed in terms of Exile and Return, and I plan to study some of those ideas with our congregation Sunday morning. In a sense, we live in Exile in Babylon, awaiting the return that will be accomplished only when Jesus comes to make everything right again.
But for now, we live as Exilic People in a world with strange gods and strange customs. One of our greatest challenges is figuring out how to be God’s People in the midst of a world that doesn’t honor him. We’ll reflect on some of the thoughts that the prophets shared with Judah as they adjusted to life outside of their homeland.