Our church community participated in an annual Wesley Covenant Service this past Sunday.
A few portions of the text stood out to me as so very transparently true... so true of myself...
I just thought I would share a few such excerpts.
"We want to be free from our sin and self-centeredness, but we have one problem. We don't know how to be free. We have become so good at being self-centered, we don't know how else to live..."
Isn't that so true of our human nature?
"Lord be merciful to us... We cannot stay the way we are, but we are completely unable to help ourselves. Pious prayers will not help us. Listening to great and holy words will not help us. Even if we gave all our money to the poor, and gave our bodies to be burned, none of this would bring our salvation..."
"Lord Jesus Christ, here we are... caught in the wrath and curse of sin... Reconcile us to God, and save our lives. If we were coming to the Father in our own name, and in our own strength, we would deserve to be ignored and set aside. But since we come in your name, as the Father has asked, we know that he will not reject us. So, Lord, help us. Lord, save us. We believe in you, Lord Jesus. We throw ourselves upon your grace and mercy... In you alone we will trust, and rest, and commit ourselves. In you alone we hope for pardon, for life, for salvation..."
"...Call us to whatever kind of life you will, Lord, and send us wherever you will. Let us be vessels of silver or gold, or vessels of wood or stone; as long as we may be vessels of your honor, we are content... We are willing to work; and we are willing to suffer. Let us be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or trodden underfoot for you. You may make us full or empty. You may give us all things or give us nothing..."
Heavy words, easy enough to slip off the tongue until considering the journies of many biblical Christ followers such as Job and Paul; then the weight and reality begin to sink in.
"O most holy God, we cry to you. Like the prodigal son, we have each gone our own way. We have fallen away from you by our own sinfulness and are by nature children of death and sin. But in your abundant and infinite grace, you have promised mercy to us in Christ if we will turn to you with all our hearts. Therefore, in response to the good news of grace that you have given to us, we come now, bow our hearts before you, and surrender our lives to your love and mercy. Because you require, as the condition of our covenant relationship with you, that we should put away all idols and reject all destructive influences in our lives, we here, from the bottom of our hearts, renounce them all. We firmly covenant with you not to allow ourselves to become slaves to sin, but to use all of the means of grace that you have given to us to flee from and put to death all of those forces that try to corrupt and do our damage to your life in us..."
"Blessed Christ, we come to you hungry, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked, unworthy to wash your feet, much less be your covenant partners. But since, in your unmatched love, you have called us, we do here with all our power accept you and take you to be the head and Lord of our lives."
It was a very different service than we are used to.
The songs and text were more formal than we are used to.
But something in those more formal, and sometimes more uncomfortable, words brought forth the realization of the legacy of this faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of our world.
I was touched by this covenant service this week and reminded of my unworthiness to be to be in relationship with a God so big, and so great.
A God who sent his only son to die, just to cover every sin in my life; every mistake I make, intentional and non. He sees the inner most depths of my heart and loves me still.
I am greatly undeserving.
I am greatly blessed.
I am greatly loved.
...and so are you.