Every year the Methodist Church invites its congregations to reflect upon the Covenant Prayer. It is central to Methodists’ devotion and discipleship, and their driver in working for social justice. In the Covenant service the Church celebrates God’s gracious offer to the promised land that “I will be their God and they shall be my people”. Wesley, drawing upon Moravian roots created a Covenant Service which focussed upon a promise, the covenant, like a marriage between human beings on the one side and God in Christ on the other. But it is a bond so strong, so loving.
The contemporary version is as follows:
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Here we don’t give up our own identity but seek that our individuality will be honed, melded, in our onward discipleship journey nearer and nearer to being like Christ.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Here we seek to serve, to meet the needs of our neighbour. The words relating to suffering are a call for our desire, by God’s help, to actively and patiently accept God’s will for us.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, Praised for you or criticized for you.
It can be difficult to consider that we want to be criticised, here we seek to be with God, to walk in God’s path for us, which can be difficult at times but importantly God is with us. It is not a call for us to be miserable but to refocus our lives upon God.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
Here we look at what are all things and what do we lack? It is akin to when a child asks for something and the parent responds with that chestnut : “is that a need or a want?” Let me be full of what God wants, not perhaps what the world deems necessary.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Again, what is important to us now that we wish to follow God?
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
To the one that has created the world and us, to one who has given all, and keeps us going, if are willing to be a part in that loving amazing relationship.
you are mine, and I am yours.
As humans we seek to be in relationship with others. I’m not talking sexual, but a deep loving relationship, a bond that is so strong. And here we are talking of a bond between God and ourselves.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.
And here’s that promise, for our lives to be attuned to God in this next year. Trusting in God and seeking God’s path as we move forward in that loving relationship.
What words strike you as wow! or ‘that’s strong’?