20 January 2017
We have seen that Christ has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will establish a new covenant
with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,
but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
They abandoned that covenant of mine,
and so I on my side deserted them. It is the Lord who speaks.
No, this is the covenant I will make
with the House of Israel
when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks.
I will put my laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
Then I will be their God
and they shall be my people.
There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour,
or brother to say to brother,
‘Learn to know the Lord.’
No, they will all know me,
the least no less than the greatest,
since I will forgive their iniquities
and never call their sins to mind.
By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.
Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.
Then I will be their God and they shall be my people
When I was a young boy, my parents used to tell me that pets which had a tag around their neck meant that they were owned by somebody. I often wondered how simple this method was; just placing a tag around the neck and the animal belonged to you! Yet in today’s readings, I realise that as children of God, we are also “tagged” by God by virtue of our Baptism.
Our lives as Christians began in Baptism. The mark which is made on our soul sets us aside for Jesus. As God’s people, we need to then learn what is it like to be a Christian. I find this abit difficult at times to follow because the way of the world tends to be very alluring. Indeed, this is something which I offer up for reflection today – how do we demonstrate that we are God’s people. This requires an entire change in configuration of our lives: from what we do, think and believe in to what we read and the nature of our actions on the internet, all these require us to demonstrate that we are God’s children.
This is not meant to be a contractual obligation where if we do our part, then God will do his part. On the contrary, this is a case where we demonstrate our actions because we have experienced the great love of God in our lives and want to share with others. It is not good to continue in our old ways of life but rather to seize the wonderful opportunity which God has given us to glorify His name in the world.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer – Dear God, we pray for boldness to share with others this great Faith we have received
Thanksgiving – We give thanks for all missionaries in the world.