Morning Psalms 96; 148

First Reading Jeremiah 31:27-34

Second Reading Ephesians 5:1-32

Gospel Reading Matthew 9:9-17

Evening Psalms 49; 138


Jeremiah 31:27-34

27The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. 28And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. 29In those days they shall no longer say: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” 30But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

31The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It 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. 33But 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. 34No 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.

It’s easy to interpret our current national situation as a sign of God’s disfavor; but it’s always fraught to think that our situation mirror’s Israel’s perfectly. The comparison is in the familiar pattern—that even though we live in a time when things our broken down, overthrown, and destroyed, God always promises restoration. “The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant.” God promises that the law will be written on our hearts—the law of love and care of neighbor. We might, then, have big plans about how the world should change (and make no mistake, it needs to change); but God begins the change with us, with love written on human hearts. Only then does it become written in the world.

Write your commands within us once again God of grace, to remind us of our way, following in the love of Jesus Christ. Amen.