|Sunday Morning Worship:|
Sunday, January 3 Covenant Service
At the start of the new year Methodists make a distinctive resolution.
The Covenant Service, often celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, is at the heart of Methodists' devotion and discipleship, and their dedication in working for social justice. In the Covenant service the Church joyfully celebrates God's gracious offer to Israel that "I will be their God and they shall be my people".
This offer is then extended beyond Israel to all women and men in Jesus Christ, who also provides the supreme example of what it is to live in such a relationship with God. That relationship primarily involves the corporate life of the community of God's people (i.e. Israel; the Body of Christ). It is concerned with individuals within that group.
What God offers is a loving relationship. The Covenant is not a contract in which God and human beings agree to provide particular goods and services for each other! It is not something that we have to do to create a relationship with God. God has freely and graciously already made it possible.
Rather, the Covenant is the means of grace by which we accept the relationship and then seek to sustain it. It is therefore not so much about getting in to a relationship with God as it is about staying in it. It is not about acquiring a relationship with God, but living within the loving relationship that God has already offered us.
| || |
Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Small Group Bible Study: In depth discussion of the morning texts.