Wednesday March 15th Jeremiah 31 : 31-33
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 which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: 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.
Methodists will recognise this passage from the annual Covenant service. It not only summarises the whole of Jeremiah's message, but is the central thrust of the entire Old Testament. God calls people into a new covenant relationship, a freely entered mutual bond in which God graciously offers forgiveness and steadfast love, inviting people to respond with love by living no longer for themselves but in obedience to God's law. In place of an external list of rules on stone tablets, God offers to write the law on people's hearts. They will obey God simply because they love God. Verse 31 is the only place in the Old Testament where the phrase "new covenant" occurs, the phrase Jesus uses the Last Supper (Luke 22:20).
Eternal God, thank you for the special covenant relationship we can share with you. Give us strength to keep our promise.
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