Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Jeremiah 31:31-34
In our reading from the prophet Jeremiah we return again to the plight of the Israelites in the wilderness. God sent the 10 Commandments to the people who were worshipping golden calves and disrespecting Moses and one another. The people heard the thunder of God’s voice and saw the tablets, but they still disobeyed. The people complained tirelessly for lack of food and the length of the journey and God, in God’s anger, sent the plight of snakes on the people. The people repented, and God sent the antidote. Here were learn of God seeing the need for a new way forward and God’s decision to make a new covenant with the people since the covenant made in taking the people out of Egypt has been broken by the people, themselves. In this covenant there will no longer be outward signs like the rainbow after the flood, the name changes of the patriarch and matriarch, or the tablets upon which the commandments were written. This new covenant would respond to the very way God made humans – God promised to write the knowledge and love of God onto their very hearts. In doing this, God ensured that the people could never stray too far from the Lord. This new covenant is one of love and mercy and it speaks to the very nature of the Almighty.