September 14, 2007 – The New Testament – The New CovenantToday when I opened the Bible the pages fell to the place where the New Testament begins . . . which caused me to think about how our lives mirror Scripture . . . and how God came to us as a human, continues to come to us in the Eucharist, dwells in us as the Holy Spirit, and how Jesus is both the Old and New Testaments.
Our lives have a genesis, they begin, we move through an exodus as we first come to know and understand God. We make a covenant with our maker and we move into a promised place. We go through cycles of leaving and returning, we ask for a king, for something significant to happen to us . . . and although it will not truly serve us in the end, God grants our wish. We become enamored of this newly-received gift and we become self-involved, become a bit decadent perhaps . . . forgetting who made us and why . . . and forgetting why we have been given the gift. Prophets come and go and still we do not listen . . . until we are carted off in exile . . . separated from the gift. We cry, we wait, we return in our hearts to what we know to be the proper way to live . . .and then a miracle happens . . . a new opportunity arrives . . . an opportunity to truly know and experience God . . .a new covenant. And this one is written not on stone, but in our hearts. We are marked with the sign of Thau so that we will be passed over at the Second Coming . . . so that the Winnowing Reed will not strike us down . . . so that we may join with the other holy ones at the feast table to celebrate endlessly with our God.
What a wonderful story.
And each of us has been given the gift of the opportunity to live it well . . . or to live it poorly. This universal gift is given freely and lovingly by God. He wants nothing more than for all of us to join him around the table. And because of this, we must work toward unity – toward community. We must pray our enemies into goodness. We must pray those who betray us into a new closeness. We must constantly seek, witness, act justly and mercifully, pray, commune, experience God in all that he has created. We must persevere, endure, bear all things prudently, pour out our sacrifices like libations, listen, speak, fulfill promises, sometimes shake dust from our feet, return, renew, reopen, repent, repair, resolve, heal, set things aright, praise, sing, glorify. We must be Christ. We must be the New Testament story. This is our calling. This is our only true vocation. This is our mission.
This is the story of the New Testament.
Jesus came to set the world afire. And oh how we are to wish that it already be burning. Burning with the passion that brings all things to fruition in God’s plan no matter how much we mortals try to thwart it. Alight with the truth that leads to peace, with the grace that leads to healing, with the love that is and does all.