We don’t often hear the word ‘covenant’ today, do we? A covenant simply refers to an agreement or promise, and today we’re probably only likely to hear it during a marriage ceremony. And yet the story of covenant, or partnership, between God and his people is the narrative of the Bible.
Right from the beginning in Genesis 1&2 God appoints humans as his image bearers, to enjoy creation and take responsibility for the cultivation of his world. The partnership is broken when the humans want to create a world on their own terms. Then throughout the Old Testament God continues to enter into partnerships with his people in order to rescue his world. But time and time again, God’s people break those covenants.
So what does God do? God chose, and continues to choose to work out the divine purpose of creation through humans, through me and you. If God wanted to, he could work completely independently of us, but instead he chooses to work in partnership, in covenant.
The climax of these partnerships comes in the form of the ‘new covenant’, Jesus. Through Jesus, God opens up a way for anyone to be in an eternal covenant with him. Despite our constant failures, Jesus continues to invite us into a new, everlasting covenant of grace.
When we look at the story of Jesus we begin to understand more of who God is and what our role in the covenant is. Through Jesus we understand that covenant looks like selfless love, treating others with care, respect, honour and dignity.
We’re currently spending a lot of our time with those we live with, those we’ve committed to loving and being in community with. This probably means that they might get on your nerves a little more than they used to! But what would it look like to see that relationship as a commitment, as a promise to each other to love one another? My flatmate and I have had more challenging conversations since lockdown than we ever have, but we’ve also experienced love more profoundly, as we learn to love selflessly and prioritise one another's wellbeing.
How could you be faithful this week to those you live with? What does selfless love look like today in your house?
We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days.