God is a God of covenant, of promise. Forever, God has made and kept promises, promises that speak of possibility, of renewal, of hope. In the act of Creation, God promised life and creativity. God promised Adam and Eve companionship. God promised Noah steadfastness. God promised Abraham a future. God promised Ruth a chosen family. God promised Jonah persistence. God promised Moses a place to call home. And yet… we don’t always trust the promise. We don’t always make the best of it. Sometimes we break the promise, we fail to invest in it, we outgrow it, we turn to sparkly things and grumble about what ails us and dismiss God’s promise as too far off, too unrealistic, too good to be true.
God doesn’t stop making promises even when we fail to hold up our end of the bargain. Despite the things that infect our hearts in the meantime—things like fear, trauma, hatred, greed, envy, complacency, superiority, loneliness, apathy—God takes one look at the scar tissue of our hearts and says, yes. That is a heart worthy of a new promise, a new future, a new hope, a new possibility. Weary and disappointed with the state of our circumstances, we wonder what God this is, that God sees all the promises we’ve broken and all the promises broken to us, and sees possibility.
But that is who God is. God is a God of promises. Just like the new covenant with the Israelites that we read about in Jeremiah, God is ready to empower us to take a look at where things went wrong and offer a new possibility—if we are willing. Surely there’s a sharp pain involved with removing the scar tissue that has built up around our hearts and releasing it to God; there’s a fear involved in exposing our failings and hurts. But as much as we cling and fight and internalize our brokenness, God is ready to help us release it. With tenderness and grace, God looks at all these hurts we have endured and caused, receives them in love, and lets them go. In the letting go, there is space for something new in our hearts—a new promise. A new covenant. Maybe this time, God thinks, with no trace of disappointment or cynicism in Her voice, maybe this time the promise will take root and grow. With eternal hope, God’s new promise enlivens our working, striving, loving in the world. May our hearts be open to the molding of the Spirit, to the call of Jesus, and to the everlasting promises of God.
-----written by Kristina Sinks