Posts Tagged ‘Covenant’

Part of the Covenant

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

God’s covenant with humanity – a promise of love, of faithfulness, a holding – is easy to project as “out there,” some distant document as it were propped up as a hoped for or dreaded contract.  But ‘covenant’ settles far deeper than the legalism we, not God, remain prone to.  The biblical book of Isaiah spoke to that several thousand years ago….

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.  (Isaiah 42:6-7)

The meaning of these words … subtle and unsettling.  God’s desire for you … to see yourself as part of the covenant, as a living embodiment in some small way of the agreement between the divine and humanity, humble carriers of a life giving heart song.

 

Reaching for the Sun

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Convenants, from a spiritual perspective, carry a simple purpose – “to tie people together … to live in mutual friendship.”  (Secrets of Heaven, Vol. II, page 61)  They are about love.

Last week I was struck by a simple conversation I had with a parishioner.  She leaned in, smiled knowingly, and shared quietly “None of this matters does it.” I knew exactly what she was saying.  None of this does really matter.  All the hub bub, the frenetic “collecting” we are so prone to, stuff – none of it in the end matters.   As a cancer survivor she no doubt came to that knowledge in a deeper way than I can imagine. The covenant, I can see, in her mind shifted.

For me, much of my covenant with God has been based on moralism, on the belief that if I do things the right way, the perfect way that somehow I will be rewarded with His recognition – an eternal celebration to validate my efforts – an earning of His love.  If I think harder, work harder, be ever more vigilant – all of that will be met with ultimate payoff.   Falsely held, such an approach is a contract between my ego and desire for recognition, not a covenant based on love.

God is no fan of sin.  But the point of His gentle holding is to remind us, tactilely, we are held regardless.  Saint or sinner – the covenant will always hold.  Sin is suffocation and as such we need held especially in those seasons of life colored by lack and darkness.

And His covenant is not a private affair negotiated individually in the back rooms of our solitary spiritual lives.  It is negotiated “out there.”  The covenant is knowingly choosing the loving bonds that bind one person to another, joining together into the immensity of an impersonal love that because of its non-judgmental character can in turn be deeply personal and specific.

There we finally know God not as something we possess or earn but as He is.    No more reaching for the sun, maybe on our best days we can then simply settle into the warmth as we celebrate the ties of One to another.