Reading: 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 speaks to a topic near and dear to me: the experience of “knowing”. Back in May 2020, I decided to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree. Perhaps it was the months of COVID quarantine that made me temporarily lose my mind, but I applied to the program and started my first class a month later. It’s been 20+ years since I was last in an academic setting and even then, my attention span was iffy at best, so I struggled those first semesters to balance parish ministry and studies. Two years later, and I’m nearly done with my coursework, but it hasn’t been easy. I just no longer have the capacity to read for hours, let alone retain what I read for any length of time. It’s a good thing, then, that God has different expectations when it comes to knowing. As such, I’m grateful that God’s capacity for knowing me is greater than the reverse. And I am grateful for Jeremiah’s prophecy of knowing and being known. The Holy One knows our dark sides and our moments of light, our despair and our hope, our brokenness and our ability to live in love and mercy. We are known and we are invited to know God in Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit.
–Lisa Raylene Barnes
Knowing One, you understand us in ways we cannot even understand ourselves. Guide us to know you in the fullness of the Triune God, and embolden us to live in the knowledge that you will never abandon us.