The prophet Baruch wrote hundreds of years after the Babylonian exile. Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra, and Nehemiah had attempted to restore the temple, walls, and people of Jerusalem. But the renewal needed renewal. The message is: "Back to the basics"—confessing our sins, living God's word, prophesying to the dry bones (Ez 37), and not compromising with the idols of the world.

Key word    THE BASICS
Key verse    "They wept and fasted and prayed before the Lord, and collected such funds as each could furnish." —1:5-6
Command verse    "As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek Him: for He Who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy." —4:28-29
Promise verse    "I have trusted in the Eternal God for your welfare, and joy has come to me from the Holy One because of the mercy that will swiftly reach you from your eternal Savior." —4:22
Difficult verse    "I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the sounds of joy and the sounds of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; and all the land shall be deserted, without inhabitants." —2:23
Surprise verse    "In it were born the giants, renowned at the first, stalwarts, skilled in war." —3:26
Prayer: Father, when my world is falling apart, may I not try novelties but get back to the basics of my relationship with You.