Jeremiah 31: 31, 33-34
“The days are surely coming…” the passage begins. As we read these words today, the days are surely coming. The first week of Advent is drawing to a close, and the anticipation is building. We know the magnificent gift that is coming, yet how easily our anticipation is distracted by competing expectations—by getting it all done and by the making of “picture perfect” holiday memories. How easily the distractions of this world can crowd out the gift of wonder!
Reading the words of the scripture in 2013, I consider how the promises of the text might have been received by those of Jeremiah’s day. We read that God will make a new covenant and write it—not on stone or any surface—but on our hearts, so that each of us may know God intimately, needing no intermediary and no introduction. And we are to be forgiven and our sins forgotten, though we don’t deserve it and can do nothing to make it so. Would these promises have sounded as wondrous then, to those who couldn’t have known the story or how the covenant would be wrought? And how easily do we lose sight of the wonder of that gift today, even in this holiday season, given all the distractions of the world around us, and even though we know the story so well?
In these busy days, I am grateful for these few minutes of daily reflection and study and for our many Advent traditions as we gather in worship and fellowship as a church family. Together, surely we cannot lose sight of the wonder of the gift to come.
Prayer: Dear Lord, who could have anticipated such a gift…the gift of grace, come to us as a babe, as God—one of us? Let us not lose the wonder—those of us who know the “old, old story.” Be with us. Bless us. Forgive us. And even so…come, Lord Jesus.