These are the readings for this coming Sunday.
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7 - After Jerusalem is destroyed by Babylon and the elite of the community have been taken to Babylon, Jeremiah, who was left behind, sends them a letter. Chapter 29 records a long letter and a short letter. The essence of the long letter exhorts the exiles to not listen to the false prophets that have arisen among them. The short letter is to two of those prophets. In our verses today, Jeremiah encourages the exiles to settle down into homes, marry off their children to others in the Jewish community, wait patiently for the time of release, and work for the wellbeing of Babylon. In other words, there will be no shortening of their time of exile and they might as well make the best of it.
Psalm 66:1-12 - Praise God who gives salvation (vs. 6) and life (vs. 9). Remember, even though we are tested, God will bring us to the other side (vs. 10-12).
[Alternate Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c - Elisha heals the Syrian general, Naaman, of his leprosy (we had this passage on Sunday, July 4) and Psalm 111 - Similar to Psalm 66 above without the testing.]
2 Timothy 2:8-15 - There are three letters attributed to Paul (which I always assume) to individual people, 2 letters to Timothy and one letter to Titus. In this passage, Paul states that his Gospel (Good News) is the risen Christ. This seems to counter his statements in his letters to churches that his Gospel is the crucified Christ. He suffers in prison for his claims but endures so that he can keep proclaiming the Gospel. Verses 11-13 have some powerful understanding of faith, the main one being that God is faithful always. He then asks Timothy to tell his church that message of faith and to warn them against arguing over picky details.
Luke 17:11-19 - This is the classic story of the 10 lepers. They all ask for healing ("Have mercy on us!") and Jesus gives it to them. Jesus sends them to the temple to see the priests so that they can be certified as being healed and they leave. (These lines were written a couple of days ago. As I now look at the text, the 10 ask for healing and Jesus sends them away to the priests to seek healing from them. Jesus has done nothing to heal them, yet, while on their way to the priests, they are healed.) A short while later one, a Samaritan, returns to say "Thanks." It is implied in the text that the other 9 are Jewish. Some questions to consider for Sunday: Where does healing come from? Who heals? Where does one thank the one who heals? Where do you encounter the healing, forgiving, loving, and accepting God?
May you be blessed by your encounter with God in your reading of his Good Word.