June 5, 2022
“We plan and God laughs” is identified as a Yiddish proverb, the title of a book or two and the headline of multiple online articles meant to help people navigate periods in life when personal plans seem to disintegrate in front of their eyes. When we hear or read the proverb, it can be difficult not to nod along, especially when the phrase encapsulates something most of us have experienced: a perfect resume or proposal sent, but no word back; a flawless itinerary dissolved by the smallest delay; an event set to begin, upended by a storm; a setback or an entirely “new normal.”
As much as we might nod along, or wince at our own experience, the proverb points us in another direction, too. And if not the proverb, Scripture certainly does.
In most of the Book of Jeremiah, the prophet focuses primarily on God’s judgment, but then Jeremiah shares the statement: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans … to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). These words were sent by the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites who had been taken into Babylonian exile. These striking, comforting words reminded them that, despite their experience of the present, God’s gesture, thoughts and plans for them — and for us — are peaceful, abundant and hopeful. “We plan and God laughs”? Perhaps. But it is just as possible that “we plan, and God smiles, imagining a future with so much more.”
At Pentecost, we celebrate that God offers more than we can possibly plan. Our gifts to the Pentecost Offering connect with God’s hope for our future, supporting ministries with children, youth and young adults by building lives of faith. Through the Young Adult Volunteer program, Presbyterian Youth and Triennium, the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative, as well as locally supported ministries of congregations, we join in ministries that connect young people with one another and with caring communities, helping them shape lives and futures beyond even ones we could plan.
Special Offerings, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, June 5, 2022, the Day of Pentecost (Year C)
Today’s Focus: Pentecost Offering
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Rebecca Storti, Director, Meetings & Special Events, Church Engagement, Board of Pensions
Gail Strange, Director, Church & Mid Council Communications Ministry, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray
God of hopeful futures, make your plans in us. May they be beyond our imagining, so that our children, youth and young adults may see your kin-dom come and your will done. Amen.