April 2018  
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Rector's Msg.

 

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares 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. Jeremiah 31:33

As many of you know, I have been trying to learn Spanish. I love the language, as it makes a lot of sense and has fairly regular rules.  In addition, I have enjoyed the culture of every Spanish speaking culture I have visited. The only problem with learning Spanish, or any new language, is that it takes so much work to learn. Every week I pledge that I am going to work harder on spending time daily studying my verb forms and it never seems to happen. Learning takes dedication, effort, faithfulness, and continuity. Because of the work involved I end up going through a cycle of learning and forgetting and learning and forgetting. I find this terribly frustrating. I yearn for this growth and knowledge to be complete in me.

In the passage above, the Lord God promises to his people that he will make a new covenant with them that will be different than the old one. This Old Covenant was the one that was received by Moses and it was a covenant (contract) that was written on stone tablets. It was the covenant that was marked on their bodies through the rite of circumcision. That covenant was dependent on the behavior of the people to fulfil their end of the agreement. On paper this seemed like a good deal, but in reality it was a mess. The people never could stick with the agreement, the fell short again and again.

The solution was to create a New Covenant, a contract that was not between God and humans, but between God and God. A covenant that was not written on stone and sustained with the blood of animals, but was, as our passage says, written on their hearts. This covenant could not be broken but was sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ and addressed the weaknesses of the Old Covenant. It is this covenant that Jeremiah so hopefully looked forward to. We live under this New Covenant in which the Gospel of Grace washes us clean. Through this covenant the Lord puts His law in our hearts and makes us His people. I only wish that this could happen with my language study, I wish that the words could be put in my heart. In actuality though, the New Covenant calls us to labor and commitment, it calls us to a life of devotion and seeking to learn the new language that the Lord has given to us in our faith. Let us challenge and encourage one another into developing this relationship with the Lord and growing to speak His language, a language of love and commitment.


In Christ,

~Seth~

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