At worship we sang about God’s promise in Jesus: “The tide of time shall never his covenant remove; his name shall stand forever; that name to us is love.” [Source: “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed”, No. 203]. At the vet’s I heard that my friend’s Thanksgiving was hard because “No one kept their promises.” [Source: life].
We live in a world of brokenness and broken promises. People are disappointed because they feel like either life or other people or both have let them down. Very often they are right. I know that folks feel that way about God and God’s People, the Church. Just now, in our country’s life, people wonder about the future and what they can and cannot rely on.
Jesus is God’s sign of an unbroken promise: to always befriend us, never desert us, and keep us. But Jesus is the
promise of a power that does not always give us what we would most like in the moment. That’s where we come in.
We are to be the people who celebrate covenant: first the covenant God made with us in Jesus. But if we celebrate that covenant we then covenant to care for our neighbors, especially when those neighbors are hurting. That’s when we serve as a sign of God and God’s promise in Jesus to them.
It was wonderfully assuring to be reminded in worship of God’s promise. It was hard to hear that someone I really enjoy has suffered through so much disappointment. But how marvelous is our work as God’s people, to so love and care for each other that together we can relax. Relax into the arms of God whose Word stands forever.
Please remember this season that the world looks to us, the Church, to be the united sign of that covenant: for ourselves and for them. We promised we would do that – be that witness – at our baptism, united with each other for the sake of the world.
Reminds me of another Advent carol: I want to walk as a child of the Light. My prayer for us as the Capital District is that we sing it and do it. I will pray that you and I keep that covenant together.
(Harvey) Gray Southern
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