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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Today’s Reading | Jeremiah 31:31–34

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt--a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (NRSV)

“Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.” Cliché’s capture some basic truths, don’t they? Here God has made a promise that is remarkable in scope—the good news that the time will come when God gifts us redemption, that the time will come when we no longer need to be taken by the hand to know God. God is freeing us and letting us know that each of us has the capacity to know God’s touch, feel God’s presence, and become a God person. It is the promise that God will be among us in Jesus the Christ. It is a universal promise that you, I, all of us everywhere, can count on. Jesus Christ is the promise kept.

The new covenant is the promise of grace. What a promise! How do I live up to that? How do I lean in to it? Isn’t there a quid pro quo I owe to God? The answer has actually been right in front of me, always within reach and now I get it: God took care of it. It’s already written on my heart. My role is to be grateful—a gratefulness based not solely on the easy, tangible expressions of happiness, success, or comfort, but on all of the moments in life where God’s touch consoled me or where God’s presence lifted me. And it has been in the most difficult times—the death of a grandchild, the passing of parents—that my gratitude became sustaining. That’s when I understood what it means to have God write on your heart.

God, you have claimed me as a God person, writing your law of love on my heart. Through the gift of your grace in Jesus Christ you have claimed me. Through the holiness of your Spirit you have filled me with gratitude. Thank you for the promise kept. Amen.

Written by Ken Ohr, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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