In Jeremiah chapter 8, the prophet laments. His people are weary and feeling abandoned. He cries, is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? (Verse 22) I’m not sure why Jeremiah mentions the word Gilead in particular. It may be a synecdoche (using one part or something, such as a city or region of a country, to refer to the whole) or it may be a reference to balsam, used medicinally in ancient times.
In my sermon I’ll highlight efforts of our our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), to relieve suffering and provide comfort throughout the world. Our congregation supports churchwide efforts through the One Great Hour of Sharing and Christmas Joy offerings.