Daily Office Meditation: 7th Week of Easter – Friday
(18) This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.
(27) “Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. (28) “And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.
(5) who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things,
(10) “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Hebrews 8:5; 10
(41) “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
(42) “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Just a quick note to start: it appears that my readings have been off by a day occasionally. The calendar for the website I use to get the Daily Office is set to EST and that is 3 hours ahead of PST. So if I am doing the Office after 9pm, it automatically shows me the following day! Whoops! I’ll be aware of that now. If you’d like to do the Office, you can join me in using this link: http://mysaintmichaels.com/readings/.
Today the lessons are all about the new covenant. First, I chose the verse from the Psalm because it is so fabulous to imagine the psalmist penning those words, “This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” The psalmist could not have imagined the impact his words would have and how many hundreds of generations would be praying and reading the words of the Bible. We cannot imagine the wisdom of God. I think that is why the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. If you truly contemplate the vast and alien nature of God’s thoughts, then you cannot help but be in awe of Him. His plan is for generations, we struggle planning for tomorrow.
In Ezekiel we see God expanding on the nature of His promised New Covenant: the earth is bountiful, the yoke has been thrown off and broken, the nations shall not have the power to oppress His people, and there shall be no reason to be afraid. It’s easy to look at that passage and fall into a sense of longing for that day. The truth is, the New Covenant is here now! We are called to walk according to the principles of the New Covenant, yet we often submit to the ideologies of the Old Covenant. We are obsessed with success and performance, we look for punishment when we fail, and we do not come boldy before the throne of grace to confess our faults.
The Hebrews passage elaborates as it quotes the promises in the Old Testament to show the new reality we are invited to live in. Everything before Christ is but a shadow of the truth. Plato writes of Socrates speaking of the man who truly knew virtue as a man who walked among shadows. Jesus came to be the signpost, the embodied truth, and the pioneer of the truly Human life.
We see a glimpse of how to live in the kingdom vs. the world in the Gospel story. Jesus responds to Martha’s legitimate practical concerns with a kingdom principle of His own. There is one thing that is needed, that is sitting at the feet of Jesus. This can be literal, but it appears to mean different things to different people in the Bible. Symbolically, in my own life, it means leaning not on my own understanding, but resting in and actively pursuing His wisdom.
The New Covenant means that relationship is 100% good between God and ourselves. This is a reality that needs to be lived out. We need to experience God’s unconditional love on a regular basis to feel secure in our identity and ministry.
Ultimately, the idea that we are not experiencing our New Covenant with Christ to it’s fullest manifestation only means that there is so much further to go with God.
The road goes ever on and on…