Worship this weekend: 5:00 pm. Saturday in Chapel
8:30 a.m. Sunday – Traditional Worship
10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship
Joel 2:12-13, 28-29
Key Verses: “Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.” Joel 2:13
Time: About 430 B.C.E.
Since Last Week: Having been freed from Babylonian exile by the Persians, the Israelites returned home and began to rebuild. Ezra and Nehemiah report that during this time the temple was rebuilt, the Torah was reestablished as the law and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt.
Background: Joel contains strong imagery to paint a picture of Israel’s destruction and renewal. Many of these images call to mind the saving work of God in leading the people out of slavery in Egypt during the time of Moses. God uses the natural world to exercise power and promise for the people.
During Advent we reflect on the emptiness of the world and anticipate the coming of the Christ child. Joel’s reading is relevant for us today, as a call to repentance and renewal of faith and action.
Community: How is your community of faith preparing for Christmas? What difference will your preparations make in the larger community around you? What can you do to bring hope and renewal to people in need?
At Home: What in your life requires repentance and renewal? Who in your life needs hope? How can you bring hope to those who need it?
Read This Week:
Monday: End of Babylonian Captivity, Ezra 1:1-11
Tuesday: Lament over the Ruined Country, Joel 1:1-12
Wednesday: Call to Repentance and God’s Response, Joel 1:13-20 (or 1:13-2:32)
Thursday: Dedication of the Temple, Ezra 6:13-22
Friday: Ezra Restores Torah as Law, Nehemiah 8:1-12
Saturday: Dedication of Jerusalem’s Wall, Nehemiah 12:27-43 (or 12:27-47)
Next Week: Isaiah Announces Liberty, Isaiah 61:1-11