Lent 5 (17/3)

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This Fifth Sunday in Lent marks the great crescendo of our Lenten journey. The short passage we have from John’s gospel is the high point in the narrative before the story turns towards the final events of Holy Week and the walk to the cross.

The passage occurs just as Jesus has made his Messianic entry into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the crowds. In contrast to the crowds, Jesus’ enemies have been plotting to get rid of him. From the Wedding at Cana near the beginning of the gospel to this point we have been told that Jesus’ “hour” (the time of his death and glory) has not yet come. Here, finally, as the Greeks declare “Sir, we wish to see Jesus,” we are told that Jesus’ death and resurrection are imminent. The “hour” is coming. And so, we turn to the events of Holy Week.

The very short reading from Jeremiah is looking forward to a time beyond the exile in Babylon. It speaks not of a ‘new’ Covenant, but of a ‘renewed’ one. God will place God’s law in people’s hearts, so that it becomes something that changes them internally and orients them towards God. They will know God themselves, without the need to be taught by another. This new knowledge is anchored in mercy and forgiveness. People will experience the forgiveness of God, which will lead to a desire to live out the way of God.

How does this idea of ‘renewed covenant’ prophesied by Jeramiah fit with the journey that Christ is making to the Cross?

How do we respond to the God who so regularly reaches out to us, desiring to have relationship with us?

May the blessings of Christ be with you as you make your final journey to Holy Week, and the Cross.

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Written and Compiled by

Rev Sandy Brodine

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