The first couple of months after I moved here I found myself church shopping. I know technically we have a geographic area and in a previous time that would be the place you would go to church. I left a very wonderful church in the Upper Midwest. It had parishioners who were still wet from their recent Baptism to people waiting and wanting to go home to God. Among that age span there was, for the most part, a respect for what everyone could and did bring to the table.
In this new land, I was looking, searching for its counterpart…and of course I want it sooner than later. It took awhile to find that place where I felt comfortable enough to begin the journey of feeling at home in a new place of worship. Now many months later it turns out that the closest parish ended up being the best fit and slowly new faces are beginning to have names.
This comfort level came just in time to sustain my inner journey of Lent. As I listened to and read the first reading from Jeremiah from the Sunday liturgy, I was struck by the comfort of God’s words to the Israelites, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be my people.” Jer. 31:33-34.
Like the Israelites, I was searching to return to a place familiar within my God journey. A major move, and in their case being taken from their homeland, can make the inner landscape feel and seem topsy turvy. My conscious mind searching even while that covenant made so long ago was waiting to be read like a map. A map that could remind me of that quiet place within that has always been my inner compass or guide, the place where God’s words are ingrained in my very cells and in each breath.
As I walk into that deeper covenant promise shown to me and to you by Jesus during this Lenten Season, do we dare to feel the power and promise in the words found in Jeremiah, “I will be their God and they shall be my people.”