Thursday, August 7, 2014

Picking cherries

In the prophet Jeremiah today we hear proclaimed,

The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant

For us Christians, that new and eternal covenant is the one established in and through Jesus Christ. It did not abolish but fulfilled any and all prior covenants, and there will be no subsequent ones. It perfects the prior covenant.

We must remember this, otherwise one can cherry pick verses and stories from the Old Testament to justify many things that the New Covenant condemns: polygamy, divorce, murder, lying, etc.
And I always stand amazed at how Christians will reach back into the Old Testament, when they can't find the justification they want in the new.

We should never cherry pick either Old or New Testament. And the bad news in the Good News is that Jesus raises the bar. Love is extended to include your worst enemies. Marriage is one man and one woman for all of life. And in many other ways Jesus raises the bar. But the Good News is that he simultaneously gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to reach it. We are not on our own.

We live as children of the new covenant promised through the prophets and brought into being through Christ. The standard is high.

You shall be perfect(teleoi, complete), therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

Without God we are incomplete. With God we can be complete, whole, perfect. Let us walk each minute of each day in him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every crack, every emptiness, every imperfection. God has not only given us this new covenant, but the means necessary to keep it.