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We continue our series Stealing Christmas, Take 2 with the sermon Overcoming Desolation.  During 2020, many industries have experienced desolation. They have had to reduce and adapt.  Some industries may not be able to recover. Despite the help from government, they have simply lost too much!  It is not only industries that have experienced desolation during the past year, but our spirits have become drained, dry, and withered.  What can fill us?  We turn to Jeremiah 33: 10-16. This is a wonderful vision of God’s restoration which is contrary to the circumstances of Jerusalem or Jeremiah.  Jerusalem is under siege by the Babylonian empire and the people of Jerusalem are dying daily.  Jeremiah is under arrest in the courtyard of the palace because he has been accused of being a traitor!  Yet, all he has done is spoken the Word of Lord to them, telling them that they cannot win the war, and they should surrender to the Babylonians!  Into this destructive and desolate moment, God speaks words of healing and hope!  God encourages his people to lift their eyes to see his restoration and redemption.  These words were not just for Jerusalem or Jeremiah, the promise of the Branch of David is for all of us.  The baby born in Bethlehem is the Branch of David and Christ our Lord!  As you read the Word of the Lord through his servant Jeremiah, may you be filled with a fullness of hope, joy, and peace.  Jeremiah 33:10-16: 10 “This is what the LORD says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, ‘ says the LORD. 12 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In this place, desolate and without people or animals– in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks. 13 In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,’ says the LORD. 14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15 “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.’ Jeremiah 33:6-16 (NIV)