Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:31-34

My buddy Kenny and I took a little road trip this past weekend. I love road trips. Just seeing the sights, covering the miles, one or two destinations in mind that justify the trip. I find those trips renewing, refreshing, and challenging in a good way. Sometimes along the way I’ll remember the road trips of my childhood.

My mom behind the wheel of her Chevy. Chain-smoking us half to death. My sisters and I either fighting or recovering from whatever Mom just threatened us with to stop us from fighting. Finally tearing into the magic bag with the peanut butter and jelly, or maybe bologna and butter, sandwiches. And every few minutes either asking or longing to ask, “Are we there yet?”

God has taken the people of Israel on a long road trip – and one day picked the rest of us up as we stood helplessly along the side of the road.

We’ve fought along the way. We have all known better but, be it boredom or just bad manners, we continue our bickering and complaining and hitting and yelling. Whether manna in the wilderness or bread and wine at the altar, God has continued to feed us, even though we bring our arguments to the table with us.

“Are we there yet?” we ask in so many unasked ways.

“The days are surely coming” says the Lord.

How do we hear those words? Are they a promise of a destination off in the distance or are they merely the reassurance of the one behind the wheel that he really knows where he is going? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is knowing that we’re not lost because he’s not lost.

As a child, it never occurred to me what those road trips cost my mother. Gas, car maintenance, food, and those marvelous surprises when we got to stop at a Dairy Queen and mom amazed us with the words, “Get whatever you want.”

God has invited us on a long road trip. It cost God everything but, out of infinite love and divine mercy, God decided we are worth it. Enjoy the ride.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we get so impatient. We get antsy, anxious, and far too often we behave like children. Yet you have planted your Word in our hearts, your Spirit draws us close to you, and sometimes closer to one another. May we trust your promises and practice forgiveness, remembering the journey with love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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