Something to think about
There is nothing quite like a reunion. A friend was eagerly looking forward to the visit of her brother with his wife and children shortly before Christmas, having been kept apart from them by the pandemic for several years. But in an ironic and terribly disappointing turn, she and her family caught Covid on the day before the relatives were due to arrive, cancelling their plans completely. You can imagine then the absolute delight when the beloved brother and his family arrived instead on Christmas Eve, everyone now recovered and ready to celebrate together at last.
The distance between God and his people in the Old Testament is a recurrent pattern, caused not by sickness but by sin. Often, they turned away from God and chose to worship created things instead. Other times, they refused to listen to God’s warnings about greed and oppression of the poor. The spiritual distance created by these choices was played out on the geographical landscape too, a painful time of invasion and exile.
But God makes his intentions clear from the start: however far they go, however deep the separation becomes, exile will not be the last word. Before the story ends, there is a glorious, permanent reunion.