Readings: Mar 25, 2012 5th Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38    The Message

 

      Jeremiah 31:31-34

“That’s right, says the Lord. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won’t be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as

their Master.” God’s Decree.

“This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no

longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever

sinned!” God’s Decree.                              © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

      Hebrews 10:4-10

          The Sacrifice of Jesus

The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin,

when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put

in the mouth of Christ:

You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;

you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.

It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar

that whet your appetite.

So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,the way it’s described in your Book.” When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.     © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson

    

 

Luke 1:26-38

           A Virgin Conceives

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel

Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be

married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the

virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning!

You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,

Beautiful inside and out!

God be with you.

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting

like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear.

God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a

son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,

be called ‘Son of the Highest.’

The Lord God will give him

the throne of his father David;

He will rule Jacob’s house forever—

no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

the power of the Highest hover over you;

Therefore, the child you bring to birth

will be called Holy, Son of God.

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son,

old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months

pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:

I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.

Let it be with me

just as you say.

Then the angel left her.

©  2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

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