Scott Sanders launches our Advent series by getting lost in the bush and finding the humble path - at expense of his pride.
Hwvar is a 24 year old, Kurdish-Australian woman who is studying social work at Western Sydney University.
Today's reading is Jeremiah 31:31-34
I have found myself wide awake deep into the night, chest tight and stomach churning more often than not this past year. Fear has been a frequent visitor, showing up indiscriminately and without warning.
What am I scared of?
I am gripped with fear for the babies on Nauru whose lives continue to be stolen with every passing second.
I am gripped with fear for our earth as we continue to pillage and plunder without concern.
I am gripped with fear for our nation’s heart as we continue to ignore the systemic injustices in place that hurt Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
I am gripped with fear as I feel my heart hardening toward those that do not think like me, as I turn farther and farther away from loving those who do wrong to me (and those who look like me).
I am gripped with fear as I ask, “How can we fix this?”
This year has been tough. The kids are still on Nauru, we have yet to commit to being faithful stewards of this Earth and we are as divided as ever. The injustice of this world can sit heavily on our backs as we struggle to lift our eyes and look to God. How can you forgive us? Are you still with us? These are the questions that often bring me to my knees.
Fear is often paralysing, it keeps us in darkness and offers no hope. The fear will come, and it will pass. We turn to Jeremiah 31:31-34 today and rejoice. The God of inexplicable kindness and generosity offers a new covenant. A chance at redemption, a chance to sign this new covenant and know that in the midst of fear, it’s not too late.
It is not too late.
This is for everyone, from “the least of them to the greatest”, me and YOU. Fear reminds us that things are not as they should be, but there is no need to stay in that place of hopelessness. This new covenant is a promise that we are forgiven, and that God is still (and always will be) with us. This new covenant reminds us that we are God’s people and with every new day there are opportunities to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
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A New Covenant
31 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. 32 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. 33 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. 34 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.