Greetings church family,
As the new year is well underway, I am experiencing anew that life’s pace is rarely a respecter of the calendar. There are a few times a year society’s pace slows or quickens, but circumstances have not given us a celebratory break to acknowledge the successful completion of 2011. In ministry this takes shape in the form of weddings, funerals, crises, births, jubilant praises and desperate cries for divine help. The needs of our community and our own needs for spiritual sustenance continue in full force. But as I experience these things as a still relatively new pastor, I’m reminded of something else that is unaffected by circumstances.
This past week in our Disciple I Bible Study class, our theme was COVENANT. We read 35 chapters of scripture that all had the common thread of God’s covenant with humanity. We learned that covenants are not like contracts, which often have loopholes or an escape clause. Ancient near eastern covenants were made with blood and sacrifices. And they typically required at least one person’s life for restitution if broken. All through the Bible we see God as a Covenant-Maker and Covenant-Keeper. In April we will celebrate the ultimate expression of covenant faithfulness as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, whose life was given in order to fulfill the covenant between God and humanity that we have been breaking repeatedly since our first days.
I encourage you this week as you prepare to enter Lent (which begins on Wednesday, Feb. 22) to open your Bible and pray – read about, praise, give thanks, and cry out to the only One who has never broken covenant and never will. And know that because of His faithfulness, our unpredictable circumstances and ever-changing lives have an infinitely reliable and constant opponent. And He wins.
Grace and peace,
Below are the lyrics to a song we sometimes sing in our contemporary services called “Your Grace Is Enough” by Matt Maher. He writes about God’s covenant and that God’s grace is sufficient for us because He keeps His covenant. Feel free to read it this week (or sing it!) as a reminder of who God is and why we praise Him.