Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B

Inspired by Jeremiah 31:31-34 

“But 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. No 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.” Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NRSV) 

There are many Christians who are willing and eager to describe exactly who God is and how to properly be in relationship with him. Some describe a tender and loving God, some a harsh and judgmental God, some an indulgent and permissive God, and some a confusing combination of all of these.

God never intended it to be that difficult to know him. He himself has created us with the knowledge of who he is and what he expects. Most of us, since earliest childhood, understand that if we want to be loved then we should be loving. We recognize that it feels good and things work well when people are nice to each other and fair to each other, so we should all be like that. As we get older we begin to justify ourselves and create systems that put ourselves and our own interests above those of others, making ourselves better and more important. We create rules and ideologies that put God on our side and against everyone else, and we seek to manipulate people’s understandings in order to enforce our own agendas, even at the expense of God’s will.

But God has indeed written his law on our hearts, and he is our God, and we are his people. Seek God in prayer; seek his instruction, seek his direction, seek him. Seek, and you shall find, because he will not abandon us to the false teaching of his creatures. He will guide you and guard you; all you have to do is abide by the law he has put within us.

Let us pray. Loving God, you have created all people to know you and be in relationship with you. Help us to see through the man-made clutter that keeps us from you, that we may rest assured in your everlasting grace. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.