Written on Our Hearts

By Andrew Bolton, Council of Twelve Apostles

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…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…for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.  Jeremiah 31:31–34

At the heart of today’s scripture are these words, “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.” What does this mean?

I recall the first apostolic sermon I ever heard. It was by Aleah Koury at a church conference in Germany. I was a young adult who had just discovered Community of Christ. Brother Aleah’s sermon was simple: “Love releases the power to love.” This made sense to me. I could see it working. I knew I was better behaved; more loving when I felt loved. This came from within. When I received love I passed it on without having to think about it. I was just nicer.

I think I behave best of all when I sense God’s love for me. My behavior is better not because of fear of punishment or the reward of praise, but because my heart is at peace. The love of God’s people opened me up to receive the love of God. I am renewed in God’s love through the companionship of the church. That is why I go to church and go to camps and retreats.

Hanging out in the companionship of the sacred community is a way for me to hang out with God.

As I endure in God’s love, so my heart is remade to love deeper. God writes on my heart, the words “I love you, and I forgive you. You now have the power to love others.”

Prayer for Peace:

Author of the centuries, we open our hearts for a blessing of love from you. We receive and then give what you write on our hearts. Our hearts are at peace and ready to give peace to others.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Caring for God’s Sacred Creation

Each day this week choose a way to notice, give thanks, and care for God’s sacred creation. Prayerfully consider one of the following suggested practices or create your own. Walk in nature with a spirit of gratitude and “holy attention.” Write a psalm of praise for the beauty of the Earth or a prayer of healing and blessing for the wounds of the Earth. Learn about and engage in an act of Earth-keeping such as recycling, simple living, fasting from over-consumption of resources.

Notice the unique diversity of the planet’s creatures and be gentle to plants, animals, trees, and people! Fall in love with the vast, intricate wonder of God’s creation and give thanks.

Peace Covenant:

Today God, I will love others because you first loved me.

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