We gathered with the reminder that God is the only one who can bring order to humanity which has an unruly will and misguided affections. What God provides is the grace necessary to remind us of the unchangeability of God’s promises, and the means that we receive grace in our life. Our Psalmist invited us to remember that God was the true source of mercy and compassion – something that is part of God’s nature, not something we earn except as part of God’s creation. It is God’s grace that can clean us, if we let it. Our New Testament reading from Hebrews serves as the reminder that Jesus serves as the model for us to follow. The reminder that our obedience may not be without cost, but what we pay is minimal when compared to the grace bestowed on us. In our gospel from John, we are reminded that a solitary person only dies to themself, but if we live in communion with God and other believers we will bring greater benefit than we imagine.
Our sermon was informed by the Hebrew Scripture from the prophet Jeremiah. In this passage Jeremiah related that God was providing a “new covenant… not like the one we could chose to ignore or break” which would be the source of our reconnection with God. The new covenant was marked by two traits: that we would be God’s people and that we would let God be God. This “new covenant” is the long-standing covenant which began in Adam and was reaffirmed in Abraham. It is the covenant of the heart that will lead us, not to condemnation but to life with God and freedom. Where are you called to reconnect with our foundational relationship with God?
I invite your comments,
Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-13; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33