The other day the leader of our nation stood before Congress and the American people and gave the State of the Union. He presented a rosy picture under his tenure and shared his great plans for the future. The group he addressed also has great ideas and a different picture of our successes and needs. The people they represent know the reality of their lives, and while we all live in some form of a dream world, they see a great nation struggling to maintain its greatness and her people struggling, period. I find myself growing ever more cynical of politicians and promises and covenants and contracts with America - simply because their words and actions flow from themselves and are rooted in their self interests. They have lost focus of the basic truths that are to guide our human endeavors and the divine source of truth and good.
The author of Hebrews reminds us that any covenant that comes from or relies upon our own efforts and promises alone is faulty. But we have a mediator of a better covenant, a new covenant. A one sided covenant of words and promises, even if made by God, is faulty if we are passive receivers of those blessings. They become expectations and entitlements that require little from us except a readiness to take and receive. But we have a High Priest of a new Covenant purchased at a great price . He establishes a new Covenant - putting his law within our minds and writing it upon our hearts. It will be a relational Covenant between God and his children. It will be a Covenant that will not need to be taught by words, for it will be lived in the everyday reality of our lives. It will be a Covenant rooted in forgiveness and mercy and love. It will be "the" Covenant that will allow us to know God, to know who we are in relation to him, and to live our lives according to his will. Once that new Covenant overcomes the hurdles of our self centeredness and sinfulness, we will find hope again and renew what has always been dwelling in our lives. Then our "state of the union" will be worth celebrating.