Jeremiah 31:17


"There is hope for your future, says the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country" (Jeremiah 31:17 RSV).


This passage begins with a description of grief: "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping" (v. 15 RSV). "Ramah" is the Northern Kingdom, which has been conquered and overrun. But the prophet assures that the time of grief will be brief:  "Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears" (v. 16 RSV). And then comes the promise of verse 17. All is not hopeless; the residents of the Northern Kingdom who had been led into exile will return.

The verse suggests to me that the grief we often experience in life is not a sign that we're doing something wrong. It's actually a part of the spiritual process that brings us to earth. The Lord—our own individual Oneness with the Divine—will be always present, offering assurance that, as we use the grief to guide us to new creative choices, we will return to spiritual awareness and a more joyful future.


Rev. Ed