September 22, 2020: Day 31 – Jeremiah 31

I was almost  overwhelmed with points of contact and parallel as I read this chapter.  There is a wonderful promise that the people will come back and inherit the land that had been abandoned.  I can’t help but think of the sanctuary that has been “abandoned” and is now ready to be inhabited, safely.  Look at vs.10 and I sense a commonality as I read: “He who scattered FPC will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”  

Look at vs.7 and we see that the Lord is commanding his people to sing aloud with gladness.  We read the words: “Save, O Lord, your people.”  These words, save, O Lord, in the Hebrew is literally Hosanna.  They are the same words that we hear the people proclaim as they welcome Jesus into Jerusalem  which propels him then in a few days to the cross.  But it is on that cross where we find the culmination of what Jeremiah mentions later in this chapter beginning in vs.31.

In this chapter and starting at vs.31 we read about the new covenant that God will establish with His people and it is a covenant that is not written on stone like the 10 commandments, but it is written on our hearts.  He will be our God and we will be God’s people, and not as a result of us being reminded that we have to do the right thing but rather because God has placed in our hearts and in our lives his presence.  The promise that we find in this covenant is that: “I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”  This is why we do what we do, because we are celebrating the fact that our sin has been forgiven and washed clean forever.  

Keep in mind that this is being foretold from of old.  The coming of Jesus in our hearts is being told by Jeremiah to a people who are living in captivity and bondage and are in desperate need of hearing words of hope.  They were not able to worship God in the Temple, because they were in exile, so God allows us to remember that we can worship God in the family called the church which is found all  over the world.  We now are not able to worship in the church building, but that has not, and it should not ever, prevent us from worshiping God in person wherever we find ourselves, until that day when we can worship together in this building that we call a sanctuary with the people  that we call the church.

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