Prayer: God Almighty, We are so thankful for your promises and your grace. You see the faith in our hearts and offer mercy and forgiveness. Guide us as we share the truth with others- that your love is known and available to all if we just look into the hearts you have created within us. In your name, Amen.
Reading: Jeremiah 31: 31-34 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: In today’s scripture, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of a promise of a new covenant with the Lord. These words brought an immense of hope to the people of Israel since they had been taken into exile. Jeremiah describes this covenant as new, the old covenant being that which was written on the tablets at Mount Sinai, but it is slightly more fitting to describe this new covenant as renewed. God has not forgotten His previous promises, He is adding to the covenant with a promise that will come in a new form. The “old” covenant was written on something that could perish with other things of this world, but this “new” covenant was to be written on something eternal- on the hearts of the people of God. I imagine that this is part of what it means to be in the image of God, to have His law of love in our minds and written on our hearts is to reflect His beautiful image.
As we continue to celebrate Reformation Sunday and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I am reminded of how Martin Luther introduced a renewed theology during the Reformation that still greatly encourages us today. Luther’s theology of salvation by grace through faith saw God as the God of mercy, love, and forgiveness just as previous theologies did, but it put a new twist on the understanding of God’s nature. We now see that not only did God write His new covenant on our hearts, but He also knows when true faith lies within them. So renew the hope in your heart that God is full of grace, mercy, and truth! --Anne Harshbarger
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