A new heart I will give you,
and a new spirit I will put within you;
and I will remove from your body
the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
How would you receive these words? Would you hear the message of hope or would you be angry for being told you had a heart of stone? No doubt the people of Israel, exiled in Babylon, had difficulty hearing these words, too, from the prophet Ezekiel.
Ezekiel went on to say that God would save the people, not because of what they had done, but because of who God is.
When I am willing to admit it, I know that I, too, have a heart of stone. And I'm desperately in need of a new heart, a heart of flesh, a heart that cares about all of God's children.
These are God's words, says Ezekiel: "...and the nations shall know that I am God...when through you I display my holiness before their eyes (v.23)." Our actions are not about us but about the God revealed in what we do. "In the name of Christ," Mennonite Central Committee's motto, is a more contemporary version of the same truth.
The photo above is near Guggisberg, Switzerland the home of my Beyeler ancestors before they journeyed to North America. Their journey across rivers and oceans is mine, too, as I seek a new spirit and a new heart. My guess is that I will have many more rivers to cross, maybe even oceans, before the journey is completed...