I hope you will pardon the pun for this series title.
We often say that "Reality Bites" and what most people mean is that there comes a moment when the rose-coloured spectacles of our wishful thinking, sentimental perspectives and idealised hopes crack and the harsh light of the so-called "real world" bites us.
But there is another reality that we often discount. A reality where Jesus enters into our world and even though He assures us that "in this world you will have trouble," He is also quick to remind us to take heart for He has overcome this world and He will never leave us or forsake us.
And so in the midst of a present reality that bites us, there is another greater Truth unfolding. We need to be reminded of it.
In computer-speak a "byte" is cluster of ones and zeroes and is what is usually needed to transmit one alphabet character of information. Over the next couple of days I will be sending you some "Reality-Bytes": A reminder of God's greater truth in the midst of our lives.
If anyone in the Old Testament experienced a Reality-Bite it would have been Jeremiah sitting the smoking ruins of Jerusalem that the Babylonians had decimated after an 18 month siege.
If anyone should have and could have doubted God's love and care - it would've and should've been Jeremiah. In the midst of tragedy and heartache and pain, Jeremiah chose to reach out to a God whose love for us is as certain as the sunrise tomorrow morning.
Each year we start with resolution and optimism which quickly fades in the hurly burly of tightening our belts after too much eating and spending and as the pace accelerates to a frenzy, many of us are wondering whether we have the strength for it all.
Jeremiah's certainty is our ultimate reality: The night will not last. The failure of others does not have to destroy us. Our own sin-brokenness will not have the last word. There is a cross and a Saviour who gives us a bridge between our dark reality and the dawning of real reality: God's unconquerable love for you and me.