God makes a new covenant with us – but will I sign up?
Make a scroll and write the covenant (agreement) on it.
Then decide if you want to sign it. It’s quite a challenge, but it’s up to you.
You will need:
- A4 paper
- Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- Hairdryer (optional)
- Marker pens
I’m a free-lance writer, and my children are rapidly growing out of the onsies that they had as new-born babies. I suppose that’s only to be expected now that they’re teenagers.
If you find these free resources useful, would you consider supporting my work? The price of a coffee a month would be great [click here] or whatever you can afford. But don’t worry if you can’t. You are very welcome to help yourself for free. Thank you.
What to do:
- Scrumple the paper and flatten it out.
- Soak the tea bag in water for half a minute then dab it all over the paper. Try not to get the paper too soggy.
- Carefully turn your paper over and tea bag the other side as well.
- If the paper rips a little while you are turning it, this it doesn’t matter, it just adds to the character. Your tea bag may start leaking tea. That’s OK too, but you’ll probably want to wash your hands around now.
- Once you have finished with the tea bag, rub a little cinnamon into the paper too.
- While the paper is still damp, rip off the straight edges all around.
- Dry the paper with a hairdryer, or on top of a radiator, or in a very cool oven with the door open.
- When your paper is dry, brush off any loose bits of teabag or cinnamon that are left.
- Copy the words of Jeremiah 31:33 onto your paper:
I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts.I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jer 31:33)
- Sign the agreement ‘God’ on one side and leave a space on the other side for your name.
- Roll up your scroll and tie it with string. When you get home, have a think about what is your wrote there, and decide if you will sign your name.
We don’t use covenants much today, at least we don’t call them that. We use words like testament, will or contract instead.
- Testament – Old and New Testaments, the relationship between God and his people.
- Will – as in ‘last will and testament’, how I want things to be.
- Contract – an agreement or promise, I will do this and you will do that.
- All covenants, contracts, wills and agreements have to be signed to make them valid.
God sets out his covenant here, and repeats it throughout the Bible.
- The relationship: “I will be your God and you will be my people.”
- The ‘how it will be’: “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts.”
- The agreement: “All will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs.”
- Signed: “I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Will you sign up?
A Note on Verse 30
Children often take metaphors very literally, so you may want to explain that some phrases express truth while not being literally true.
We often say things that we do not actually mean. “I’m starving and there’s nothing in the fridge.” Really? No, not really. What I mean is, “I’m hungry and I don’t want to eat what’s in the fridge.” The Bible does this too (a lot!), but we often miss it because of the different language / culture / time.
“Those who eat sour grapes will have their own teeth set on edge; and everyone will die because of their own sin.”
What? I’m going to die because I did something wrong? No. God’s not like that. Look at the first part of the verse. Does eating unripe grapes really move your teeth? Of course not, it’s just a figure of speech. Same with the second part. Doing something wrong does not make you die, it’s just a figure of speech. Jeremiah was meaning that everyone is responsible for their own actions.
Jeremiah 31:27-34 Good News Translation
“I, the Lord, say that the time is coming when I will fill the land of Israel and Judah with people and animals. And just as I took care to uproot, to pull down, to overthrow, to destroy, and to demolish them, so I will take care to plant them and to build them up. When that time comes, people will no longer say,
‘The parents ate the sour grapes,
But the children got the sour taste.’
Instead, those who eat sour grapes will have their own teeth set on edge; and everyone will die because of their own sin.”
The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. None of them will have to teach a neighbor to know the Lord, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Good News Translation
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society