Pondering for Saturday, April 1, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 5th Week in Lent: Year 1

 Morning, Psalms 137:1 to 6, and 144; Evening, Psalms 42 and 43;
Jeremiah 31:27 to 34Romans 11:25 to 36John 11:28 to 44 or 12:37 to 50:

“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.” (Jeremiah 31: 31 to 34)

This is my favorite Jeremiah prophecy.  As a Christian, I believe Jeremiah was foretelling of the coming of our Lord Jesus when he says, the days are surely coming, says the Lord.” …”That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel”… he goes on, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.”  With this being prophesied, we are informed that God, acting in our Lord Jesus will make for all humanity, an unbreakable covenant. Given that we have a habit of breaking every covenant God has made with us, our Lord Jesus will be a living covenant. Being fully God and fully human, it is the way we, with God as one of us, (Emanuel), can keep covenant.  But we even tried to break this covenant by killing him.  But then God did something quite unexpected, God raised the covenant from the dead!  This living Covenant can never be broken. We are locked into God forever.

And here is the thing, through our Lord Jesus, God has written the law of love and the fact that God exist, on our hearts, all human hearts.  We no longer have to ask about God. We all know that God is, that God is Good, and that God loves us and lifts us up as humanity as the capstone of Creation. This makes my job as a Christian preacher a little less difficult. All I have to really say is that God has already written the love of God on your heart, go and ponder what this means.

Today the Church remembers Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest and Theologian (1 April 1872). F D Maurice was born in 1805, the son of a Unitarian clergyman. He studied civil law at Cambridge, but refused the degree in 1827 rather than declare himself an Anglican. However, he was later converted, and in 1834 was ordained to the priesthood. 

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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