October 11, 2021

In My Head and in My Understanding


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.

Jeremiah 31:33
I suppose there are two ways of looking at the chief promise of Jeremiah 31. The first is that we'll learn God's law by rote—know it by heart—so that we'll be able to obey it perfectly. This might sound good to some people, but to me it would seem to create an entire race of robots. Such thorough memorization would result in automatic obedience, thoughtless words, and mindless actions. I just don't see how this could be the kindom that Jesus preached and which he ushered in with his own very thoughtful, very mindful words and actions.

The other way to interpret God's promise in Jeremiah 31 is that God's law will not only be written on the hearts of the faithful, but will also be interpreted by the heart. God's children are not robots with blind obedience. The Spirit of God dwells in us, empowering us to respond to different people and different situations in a unique manner. Our relationship with God is characterized not by how we dress or what we eat, but by unconditional love. Because of God's grace, we have been freed to err on the side of grace in our dealings with others.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 Luke 21:33
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
God be in my head, and in my understanding; 
God be in my eyes, and in my looking; 
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; 
God be in my heart, and in my thinking; 
God be at my end, and at my departing.
 Sarum Primer
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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