May 29, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”


Jeremiah 31:34


With this week being the week in which so many of us are beginning our summer vacations, Peachtree has hit the pause button on “Overflow” for the week.


While I was in seminary, I spent a summer as a chaplain at a hospital in midtown Atlanta. It was an eye-opening experience to spend time with patients, to learn more about myself through those experiences, and to discover that pastoral care was truly a large part of my calling. But there was one piece of that time that I didn’t relish; I had to produce what were called “verbatims,” where we wrote up an encounter with a patient as close to word-for-word as possible, then wrote reflections on what went right, what went wrong, and how we could make the “what went wrong” more into the “what went right.” My issue with these assignments wasn’t in reflecting on how I could improve. (My internal monologue provides plenty of ideas on that area of life nearly constantly). Rather, where I struggled was in remembering what happened in enough detail to write up the encounters correctly. By the end of that summer, my supervisor commented that I had a wonderful memory for pastoral care, since I couldn’t remember what had happened within an hour or two of walking out the patient’s door.


For most of us, we want God to have that same kind of memory about our wrongdoings as I had about those different patient encounters that I would attempt to write up into a verbatim. We want our Heavenly Father to look at us (and sometimes even say, “I know you did something wrong”) while not remembering our sins any longer.


This passage comes from a point in the ministry of Jeremiah when the prophet’s message focused on the restoration of Israel as an independent nation rather than as a country in exile. It appears at the end of a moment when God renews His covenant with the Chosen People. This is not simply God saying that he will remember the sins of Israel no more; He is remaking His entire relationship with them.


Through Jesus Christ, God did not just remake His relationship with Israel; He did so with the entire world, with Jew and Gentile, slave and free, woman and man. In Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, we see that once and for all, our wickedness has been forgiven and our sins are remembered no more. This “remake” required that God act, not that we act. It took a moment of God’s deciding that He would treat us not as we deserved but as He desired to treat us, with the momentary forgetfulness that we all desire from those whom we have wronged.

For Reflection

Do you find it easy to remember your sins or are you quick to forget?


Is it easier for you to accept God’s grace or to exhibit it to others in your actions?


Lord God, we thank you that you forgive us of our wickedness and remember our sins no more. Help us to have the same short memory that you do with those with whom we interact each day. In Jesus’ name we pray; amen.

Rev. Scott Tucker
Pastor for Grand Adults