This Sunday will be the first Sunday of 2016! I hope you are having a Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year. It is the tradition in the United Methodist Church to participate in a Covenant Renewal Service. We will be sharing in this experience this Sunday.
From the very beginning God has entered into covenant with his people. A covenant is a commitment made between two parties. The most popular covenant in our time is a marriage. In marriage one spouse commits to spend their life with the other. There are vows and symbols. I had dreamt about my wedding day long before it happened. I planned, prepared, worked with others to make sure we had everything we needed. And when the day came I was truly ready. I had the perfect dress, the flowers, Kevin had his tux, the church and all three pastors that helped to officiate were all there and ready to go. I can’t imagine showing up unprepared.
I encourage you to prepare for Sunday, for making or renewing a covenant with God. In this covenant we are not equal with God, rather we acknowledge our place in God’s kingdom. Below you will find the words to the Wesley Covenant Prayer. I encourage you to read them, pray about them. What parts have been easy this year? What parts are still difficult? How can God increase in your life so that it is possible to live up to your part of the covenant? I am praying for you as we prepare for Sunday together. May God do a mighty work as we renew our commitment to God together.
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.