Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34
Jeremiah, one of the best-known prophets of the Old Testament, was a man who knew great suffering and sorrow. He preached during one of Israel’s darkest times: the fall of Jerusalem. “The word of the Lord came to me” was his consistent message to his people. Yet it always fell on deaf ears. As a result, he experienced rejection, grief, loneliness and humiliation, but Jeremiah remained true to his calling.
The high point of his message appears in today’s verses. He does not sound like a leader beaten down with opposition and defiance. It is a clear message of hope and promise, of love and restoration. He describes a new covenant of God with his people. It is a relationship of love given and love received.
It is amazing that so long before the birth of Jesus that Jeremiah in all his rejection could proclaim such promises that came to us through Jesus. Some of the most profound words of prophecy in all of scripture are found in chapter 31 of Jeremiah. We see the promise of God’s great love, which is poured out for us in the life of Jesus. We now know that we will have his law and his love in our hearts and that our sins will be forgiven. Advent and Christmas give us a time to recall this promise and celebrate its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus. “’Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord.”