The grace of today's readings is found in the extremes of human existence. While the every day lives of Judah and Israel are happening, the prophet Jeremiah is given visions of the coming defeat and exile of the nation that would cause any heart to shudder. What could be more horrifying as an image of the coming conflict that to see images of children lying in the dust, their bodies broken and their lives taken. The iniquity of the people has triggered this eventuality, and as the army of the North prepares for its entrance, the prophet is given the task of standing at the People's Gate, again to speak of God's judgment against the people. The old Covenant is frayed, broken and useless...and unless the people repent (and they won't), the promised calamities will not be averted.
Hope is an odd gift, but it is proffered this morning: "Go down to the potter's house," says God, "and I will show you how I work....."
I offer you this sermon, preached last Sunday, referencing this passage....you can listen to it here.
As well, Hebrews reminds us that this old, frayed and broken covenant has been superseded by a new figure, a high priest who not only enters the holy-of-holies in the heavens in order to sit at God's right hand. He also makes intercession and forges an enduring covenant in God's people that is in us and not imposed upon us. The grace of the Christ in our midst is that the rifts of the past are now healed. All we have to do to receive new life is to embrace the call of the Christ to come and follow....