Daily Dose, Nov. 28: Advent

    The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt -- a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 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 31:31-34)   “The days are surely coming…” This phrase shows up no fewer than eight times in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah. It is a phrase that, by its very nature, pointed to the future. It directs people to think of something that is inevitable. What is the future to which Jeremiah pointed? Well…it was a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, Jeremiah spoke the prophetic words of one calling the people to renewed faithfulness to God. Failure of faithfulness would inevitably result in consequences. The people would regret their wayward actions and attitudes. In this context, the “days that are surely coming” were painful to consider. But Jeremiah had a different side to his message, a side filled with hope and new life. In this message, God declares steadfast love for his people. God promises to make a new irrevocable promise to his people (a “new covenant”). In this new agreement, God will “put my law on their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” As followers of Christ, we believe that the incarnation at Christmas -- God putting on flesh and coming to dwell with us -- is the divine seal on this new covenant spoken through the mouth of Jeremiah. Not only did God say he WOULD do something…he actually DID do something. A day was coming, and a day did come! As you approach Christmas, remember the phrase: “The days are surely coming…” As we proclaim that Christ is born, remember that it’s the fulfillment of human longing. It’s God’s evidence that he makes good on his promises! I’m thankful that God is a promise keeper. -- Rev. Brad Greene