The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
-Jeremiah 31:31-34, NRSV
This week, we at Wesley Church will hold our annual “We Got Your Back” backpack festival, providing a tangible and practical expression of God’s love to families in our community. Obviously, Backpack (like everything else) will look a little different in this season of covid-tide. (The event will look more like a drive-through curbside pickup service than our typical throw-open-the-doors festival.) However, the core of the event, and the care and concern it demonstrates, will continue despite COVID-19.
As we count down to the day when we distribute filled backpacks to children in our community, I thought it could be meaningful to write devotionals inspired by the items in my “backpack” — the work bag I bring with me each time I go to the church. With 3 days to go til Backpack, today’s devotional is inspired by something in my work bag, and in every backpack we’ll give out on Saturday: a pencil.
I think pencils are ripe for a redesign. As I look at the handful of pencils stashed in the pocket of my work bag, I see a significant design flaw. Do you see it too?
The ratio is all wrong. The pencil-to-eraser ratio is all wrong. It’s around 36:1. 36 parts pencil and lead, and one part eraser. Church, I don’t know about you, but that ratio is entirely wrong for me. It’s as if the pencil manufacturer is assuming that for every 36 things I write, I’ll make just one mistake. Seriously? I’m going to run out of eraser here.
I need a more equitable pencil-to-eraser ratio. 2:1, maybe (2 parts pencil for every one part eraser). Or better yet, 1:2 (1 part pencil for every two parts eraser). I need a more equitable pencil-to-eraser ratio, church… because this flawed child of God makes a lot of mistakes.
Perhaps you do, too? We humans are broken creatures, prone to falling short, missing the mark, lapsing into sin. If we take an honest look at our lives, we’d all probably admit: we need more eraser than we do pencil. We all have cringe-worthy things we’d like to erase from our lives, our past, even our very memory. If we could just have that moment back! If we could just do it all over again! If we could just go back and fix it somehow! If we could just learn our lesson and not do it again!
As broken, flawed, sinful human beings, we all have things we’d like to erase from our past and remember no more. Thankfully, we have a God who does just that: who meets us where we are but loves us too much to leave us stuck there, who frees us from sin’s power and offers us a new lease on life, who (to paraphrase the prophet) chooses to remember our sins no more.
As people of Christ, we give thanks…
because God’s not running out of erasers anytime soon.
Give thanks for that, friends, and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/