Reading: Jeremiah 31: 27-34
In my limited mind, understanding the depth of God’s love can be hard to fathom. Because of my own struggles to forgive at times, it can be hard to comprehend God’s willingness to forgive my sins over and over and over… In my life, in my own experiences with how easy it can be to withhold love, it is hard to fully wrap my head around the fact that God always loves me, no matter what I’ve done or said.
The passage from Jeremiah marks a shift in God’s relationship with the people. In the past, the Law has been God’s primary tool for faithfulness and obedience. With the Law there were consequences and rewards. With the Law there were times when separation and punishment were used to realign the people’s minds with God’s ways. Over time the Law grew and grew to try and cover every possibility of sin. But it also became so cumbersome that it was impossible to keep all of the Law. Failure was all but guaranteed. So God offered a new way.
God opted for a new covenant based upon a personal heart relationship with each of us. Instead of a mountain of Laws, God instead offered mountains of love and grace and mercy. Instead if the unending stream of sacrifices, God instead offered up, once and for all, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. It is through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can enter into a personal heart relationship with God. It is in this personal relationship that God’s ways are written upon our heart. It is through this relationship that our lives begin to reflect God’s love and grace and mercy. Verse 33 states, “I will be their God and they will be my people”. Thanks be to God that we are claimed as God’s children, loved and forgiven, so that we too may offer God’s gift to our broken world. Thanks be to God!