Posts Tagged ‘Jeremiah 31:31’

Colossians 3: The Ideal Christian Life

Sunday, June 3, 2018

This Favorite reminds us that because Jesus is The Life, Christ guides us to live in him

This is an interesting citation which follows upon yesterday’s recounting of the old covenant with Yahweh where we heard a description of what it meant to be a Jew.  Today’s Noontime is about the New Covenant: What does it mean to be Christian?

Of course, we must remind ourselves that St. Paul writes from an ancient perspective regarding women and slaves, but the essence of the message of this letter is valid.  To be Christian, one must not only turn away from vice, but turn to the qualities Christ exemplified.  Verse 8: We are to stay away from anger, fury, malice, slander and obscene language. Verse 12: We are to turn to compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.  Do we need more guidelines?  Turn to verses 15 and 16: Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another . . . with gratitude in your hearts to God. 

The Old Covenant, as Jeremiah predicted in 31:31, has been re-written and this time it is in our hearts rather than on stone.  The New Covenant is universal, open to all, not just a select group.  And to be in community we are to be with one another in Christ.  We are to be thankful and demonstrate the qualities listed in verse 12.  We are to caution one another in peace and prudence.  We are to be loving, just and wise.  God no longer dwells in the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple; rather he now lives in each of us in as much as we are Christ to one another.

In the opening chapter of this letter, Paul tells us that the invisible God is made visible in Christ.  And this Christ is in us, and we in him, just as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father.  What a wonderful gift we have been given . . . to share in the reward Christ has gained for us.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for your gifts of life and light which you give to all of us.  Help us to be more inclusive and less exclusive.  Teach us to me more loving and less judging.  Guide us in your wisdom and grace, and grant us your peace.  Amen.

A Favorite from August 26, 2007. 

Tomorrow, remaining in Christ as we live through the joys and miseries of life. 

Image from: http://thomastaylorministries.org/blog/bible-covenants/

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Exodus 40: Seek the Word

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Claiming the Word

I am thinking of how careful Moses is as he prepares a place for the Lord’s word to rest.  The tablets of the Ten Commandments are contained in the Ark of the Covenant along with a jar of manna that fed the Hebrews in the desert, and Aaron’s rod which blossomed and performed miracles in Egypt.  This special ark was adorned with gold and placed in a special tent, and the tent later became a temple. The children of Israel – led by Moses – took care to set aside these emblems of the covenant in a special place.  We too, are called to prepare the temple of ourselves in which the Holy Spirit might take up residence.  Several times in this chapter we read: Moses did exactly as the Lord had commanded him.  We – like Moses – must prepare our hearts for the in-dwelling of God’s spirit just as God asks.

In his letters, St. Paul reminds us that our bodies are the New Testament temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19, Ephesians 2:21-22) replacing the temple in Jerusalem.  In Romans 10, Paul tells us where to find this word of God, and also how to claim it as our own: The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith, the faith which we preach, that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.  It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved. 

Belief that God creates, that Jesus saves and that the Holy Spirit comforts does not make us followers of Christ in and of itself; we must also proclaim this story to others with our own lips and our own actions.   Yet, even this declaring alone does not bring us into full participation in Christ’s body.  We must, as James tells us in his letter, be doers of the words and not sayers only.  (1:22-23) When we claim this word with our lips and hearts, and when we act on this word, we enter into full partnership with Christ.

The prophet Jeremiah predicted that there would come a day when the word of God would no longer be contained by tablets but would be written on our hearts (31:31), and it is with this writing that God claims us as his own.  It is this stepping forward on our part that designates us as the faithful.  We who come willingly and openly to sing God’s praise and to claim God’s word . . . also join our hearts with God’s.

A Favorite from November 23, 2009.

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