Jeremiah 31:27-34 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say: "The parents have eaten sour grapes,and the children's teeth are set on edge."But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.
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.
Reflection Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah we hear what is arguably the most amazing promise (or covenant) of all time; God’s promise to humanity “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.”
This is the new covenant, the new promise. God’ law is written on our hearts - on everyone’s heart, from the least to the greatest.
What does it mean that God’s law is written on our hearts? I believe it means if we listen, really listen to our conscience we know when we are thinking or doing rightly and when we are not. Here is the thing, when we are tuned in or listening to God’s law even when circumstances are less than perfect ( which is most of the time), we feel peace, we are at ease, neither second guessing ourselves nor pointing our fingers at others.
God’s law is the Christ written large within us. Paul puts it this way, “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2.20) Christ is the incarnate revelation of God’s love, once in the flesh of Jesus now in the flesh of all people, “from the least of them to the greatest.” This is the great equalizer. It does not matter our position, our power, our wealth. Our race, religion or politics are irrelevant because God’s law of love revealed in Jesus and meant for all people comes with no conditions (no hidden small print).
The first covenant God made with the people consists of a set of rules intending to direct the peoples’ obedience to external authority. This is essentially how we begin to teach our children, using simple rules, the ten commandments. But, to grow into their full humanity we must also provide for the transformation of their consciousness. I believe that is what it means to cultivate "the seeds of humans." Through the process of spiritual formation, we nurture the seed of God's love that is planted in our hearts. All we have to do is turn around and listen.
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