Scott Murphy, First Presidency
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
One of my favorite moments when witnessing a baptism is when the person rises from the water and clears it from his or her face. In that fractional moment of disorientation-from the water to the awareness of what just happened-an incredible joy flows outward through a smile that beams from ear to ear. In that sacred moment of covenant, it is less about a word or theological concept, and more about a relationship of love with God.
In our scripture text today, I find myself wondering what it must have felt like to hear those prophetic words Jeremiah shared from God to those who suffered in exile. Was there a moment between the exiles’ turmoil and the awakening that burst within them in hearing these words, which brought overwhelming joy and ear-to-ear smiles?
In those sacred moments filled with words of love and grace was the awareness that God was not satisfied to be known just as a “covenant” on stone. God wanted to be experienced through a loving relationship that made the covenant personal in the heart of each person.
When the concept of “covenant” moves from a word or concept to the experience of feeling the incarnation of God’s love and peace, you cannot help but smile.
As you continue your Lenten journey, may you encounter those moments when God’s yearning to be in relationship with you causes you to consider the covenant you have been invited to experience in God. And in those moments of sacred awareness, may the joy you feel bring a smile from ear to ear.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (John 13:1-15)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.