Has a friend ever asked a favor of you, and then you forget to fulfill your promised obligation? In a fast-paced world, we have a short attention span and may not listen to the people around us. Also, we may forget to listen and to be attentive to the voice of God in our daily lives.
Hear my voice…incline your ear…Obey my voice.
Throughout this reading, God explains that listening and obedience are inextricably linked for people of faith and for covenant relationship. If one hears the word of God, then God desires and expects obedience to the word of God. To God, listening includes a response to God’s word, and this is unlike our modern definition of listening. Although Jeremiah speaks of the broken covenant between God and Israel and prophesies the exile of Israel, we see that God later promises a new covenant of restoration and comfort in the Book of Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31–34). In order to understand and to live within the new covenant, we need to look back at the broken covenant between God and Israel.
Lent is a season of contemplative preparation for Easter, and we are preparing for God’s new covenant of restoration though Christ. In contemplation, let us take time to meditate on those times we have listened but not obeyed God. What have we experienced in our moments of stubbornness? When we do not incline our ears or hearts toward God, how have we treated our neighbors and ourselves? By acknowledging our own moments of sin and brokenness with God, God forgives us, and we may move toward God’s restoration. May our hearts and our ears listen and respond to the word of God. Amen.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jer. 31:31–33
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