Every year we have the opportunity (it’s not a rule, not a requirement, and not an obligation) to renew the initial vows we made to God when we first became members. In addition, many of us, after a time of prayer and listening, add more personal commitments in our covenant. Some of us may commit to having a daily ‘quiet time’ with God or to tithing or serving meals at the City Mission. Some of us may sense that we would grow stronger in Jesus Christ by adding a line in our covenants about beginning to attend Celebrate Recovery to face a wound or habit head-on.
Many of us who have chosen to make these covenants with God have found that they give us traction; we make steadier progress with longer strides. We’ve found that covenants are one way God creates harmony and order out of chaos. (This is how he has historically responded to the mess human beings have made of things.) Our own lives can feel chaotic; the chaos seems to push God to the margins of our awareness. Making a covenant with God through concrete commitments can help restore order to our lives and keep God at the center.
In the fall, we have an opportunity to work on our covenants, and then on Consecration Sunday, those of us who wish can bring our covenants forward in sealed envelopes with our names on them. (The next year these envelopes are mailed back to us just as we’re ready to begin working on our covenant for the following year.) And after worship on Consecration Sunday, all of us (whether we’ve made a covenant or not) share a meal together, with lots of good food and conversation and laughter, to celebrate our life together.