Advent Devotions December 17


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.

Verses from this passage are also included in today’s selection from Hebrews in the daily lectionary. As we get closer and closer to Christmas the anticipation builds and we are drawn to the manger. The promise that comes to us in Jesus can reflect the covenant that is spoken of in this passage of Jeremiah.

One of the verses that will forever strike me within this passage is, “I will put the law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” This law, or covenant, is already in each and everyone of us. We are closer to God than we realize, even those that claim they do not know or want to know God. God is present within each and everyone of us from the day that we came to being. It was this verse that continually went through my mind and heart when I had the opportunity to witness an open heart surgery while doing my clinical pastoral education. As I watched the patients heart beating outside of their body I marveled at the wonder of God within each of us.

Let us pray.

God of the covenant, we give thanks for the promises that you make to us and pray that we continue to live into this promise. As you have written the law on all of our hearts may we live into the mystery in which you have bestowed upon us. AMEN.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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