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“Do not doubt, but believe.” John 20:27

Sunday, October 13

The Lord’s Day

Minute for Mission: Domestic Violence Awareness

On this day, we remember victims and celebrate survivors of domestic violence. Jeremiah 29:1, 4–7 is a fitting passage for this day. Jeremiah railed against all forms of injustice. Sometimes called “the weeping prophet,” he turned his wrath on those who preyed upon the most vulnerable members of society.

The people of Judah were living in exile in Babylon, longing to be back home in Jerusalem. As the psalmist wrote, “By the rivers of Babylon—there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion” (Ps. 137:1). One of the dynamics of abuse, power, and control is that one lives in isolation and exile: exiled from the joy of simply living without fear, exiled from family and friends, exiled from even the one who had pledged their lasting love. Jeremiah would certainly call abusers to account, but he would also hold accountable those who witness abuse yet say nothing, who stand by silently, who turn from those who long to be safe in their own homes. He would remind us all to “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7).

Like those in captivity in Babylon, God speaks words of comfort, hope, and promise to those held captive by abuse. To paraphrase the prophet, \plant . . . harvest . . . eat . . . multiply . . . live. In the midst of trouble, seize life because God’s will for all is peace, shalom.

How can we “seek the welfare of the city” and of all who dwell therein? Stand with those who need refuge; make your congregation a place of learning, truth telling, silence breaking, and safety; join advocates in your community in a coordinated response; and hold governments accountable for laws that truly protect and for services rendered.

Looking for ways to be a Jeremiah in your own city? Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN), a ministry of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA), will help.

Rev. Nancy K. Troy, pastor, Briargate Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky; member, PADVN Leadership Team

Let us pray

Loving God, may we be part of the healing and, in being so, be healed ourselves. In the name of Jesus, who knows the pain of violence. Amen

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Jer. 29:1, 4–7
All Who Love and Serve Your City
PH 413
Ps. 66:1–12
Come, Ye That Fear the Lord
HB 296
2 Tim. 2:8–15
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
PH 416 and 417, HB 433
Luke 17:11–19
Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty
PH 482, HB 1

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 19; 150
First Reading Jeremiah 36:1-10
Second Reading Acts 14:8-18
Gospel Reading Luke 7:36-50
Evening Psalms 81; 113

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