Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jeremiah 31:(27-30), 31-34

Lent 5 – Year B

Jeremiah 31:(27-30), 31-34

We will know G*D through forgiveness (31:34). This is the most powerful image in this passage.

The first part of this pericope talks about not having sins passed on to the generations, but each generation and person having immediate feedback or consequences for behavior that is harmful to them and others and creation. This sounds idyllic, but taken just a half-step further leads to greater constraint and self-censorship. To connect behavior to consequences too strongly and quickly may make us obedient puppets but loses the living nature of G*D and ourselves as Partners.

It doesn't take much immediate correction, like an electrified fence, before we shy away from even coming close to it. It may no longer be active, but our past experiences with it have effectively kept us from pushing the boundaries of life. Pavlovian responses, even in the supposed service of G*D are more detrimental than helpful.

So how does G*D's heart become our heart, and vice versa? It comes through the beating process of trial and error and forgiveness received and forgiveness given and trying again. So we stand and walk, so we ride a bicycle, so we build community. Let's get to the heart of the matter – loving kindness revealed in many ways and forgiveness is near the top of its revelatory presence.

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