The God of all creation has invited each of us into a covenant relationship with him. This past Sunday, Dave spoke to us about Abraham, a man who committed to live in covenant with a God who promised to bless him, to make his name great so that through him God would bless the world.
This amazing story means that you and I are invited to be a part of that same covenant God made with Abraham.
But what does it mean to live in a covenant relationship?
Covenant means I bind myself, my future, my happiness, to another person, promising to nurture and sustain our relationship. It means I no longer live only for myself, but for the sake of our relationship.
Contracts, however, are different. A contract means that as long as one person does their part in the relationship (whether it’s a business or personal relationship), the other person is obligated to do their part. Once one person fails to fulfill their end, the other party is no longer required to do their part. The relationship is built solely on the protection of individual interest. To call a contract a “relationship” is a stretch.
Our culture has a lot of trouble with covenant. Covenant is a lot scarier than a contract. Our individualistic culture gets claustrophobic when thinking of the idea of tying oneself to anything. After all, how are we supposed to have the foreknowledge to commit ourselves to anyone? What if that person or community doesn’t accept me? Abandons me? What if they fall apart or die? What if I’m not able to do what I want? What if I no longer have control of my own life?
We’re beginning to see how difficult it is to live in covenant.
How can God require this of us?
Because he has promised himself to us.
He who did not spare His own son, Jesus, but gave him up for our sake, how will he not also give to us all things? (Romans 8:32) We have a God who has laid down his life, showing there is no depth he is unwilling to travel for our sake. What amazing love. He has bound himself to us in love. He has chosen us before the creation of the world. He has taken the first step toward us. He is like a husband who has prepared a home for his bride, and gets down on one knee, offering us a new life. He has chosen to live not for himself, but for the sake of our relationship with Him.
He has written covenant on our hearts. Marriage is a covenant, parenting is a covenant, a church is a covenant. In each of these earthly relationships, we bind ourselves to another for the sake of our relationship together.
This week in VBS I am reminded of the covenant I share with each of you as a member of Montrose Church. As I see hundreds of children laughing and playing, I think about the day many of them were dedicated to Montrose Church. In that dedication, we spoke words of promise to these same children. We tied ourselves, our future, and our happiness to their selves, future, and happiness. We made a covenant to them. In the same way, I look around at all the volunteers and think about how God has called us into covenant with each other. Our covenant to God and to each other is strengthened as we eat, laugh, talk, serve, and worship together. You and I live no longer for the sake of ourselves only, but for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the people of Montrose Church.
What a beautiful calling.
Wed, July 10, 2013
by Connor McClenahan filed under