“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse. You can see it on greeting cards of encouragement, sewn into needlepoint wall hangings in church school rooms, etched into worry stones to keep in your pocket, etc. It is a popular verse to have handy to remind us when we are in times of stress or uncertainty that God has a big plan for us and we can relax a little into God’s plans.
There is a little problem with the translation of this verse into English however, at least how most people read it. It really ought to say, “For I know the plans I have for all y’all, declares the Lord,” because, “you” in this phrase is plural, not individual. This is Good News for a nation of people, not for one well loved individual.
You may have heard the news recently that the boards of directors of the Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska conferences have approved me as the candidate to be presented to the conferences for vote as the Executive Conference Minister for our new unified conference staff. This is an exciting time! And although it has been my singular name in the recent announcements, this isn’t really about me at all.
WE have been called to a new time and a new place as the church! And the Lord has big plans for US! And thank goodness for God’s plans for us! Because even our wildest imaginings can only begin to scratch the surface of the depth of the love, grace, abundance, and hope that God has in store for us and for the world!
To be sure, there is hard work for us, and God’s plans don’t live on our timeline, but on God’s eternal timeline, so there will be disappointments along the way as well. But, we have been called to this new day and this new time and this new church together! Praise be to God!
Blessings for the Journey,
Brigit Stevens, Associate Conference Minister