|Dear Church family,
Our intrepid travelers return from India on Tuesday. I know we are all looking forward to hearing from them about the Bible College we support there. On a personal note, I am looking forward to getting my dishwasher back (Phil’s official job in our house). The day he, Shirley and Lucy left, the kids and I wrote a set of promises on the whiteboard in our garage. I’ve included a picture of it for you. The kids promised to do their chores each day. I promised to do something fun with them at least 3 times each week. We all promised we would “try” not to yell. Then we signed our names to show we would follow through. I told the kids that this was what’s called a covenant: promises we keep about what we will do and what kind of people we will be.
When I told a friend about our whiteboard covenant, she looked at me strangely and asked, “You have to write those things down? You don’t just treat each other that way naturally?” Hmmm.
What a reminder this is of the covenants in scripture. Over and over again God offers a set of promises: things for the people to promise and things he promises. And we learn, every single time, that the people rarely keep their end of the bargain, even when it is written down. It seems we are simply unable to keep our promises to God.
This reality makes what happens at the Last Supper so important. Jesus breaks bread and passes it around as his body and then he pours a cup of wine and tells them drinking it will remind them that there is a new covenant now and it is already signed and sealed. We have not signed it but Jesus has, with his blood. Here is what he says to his disciples: “And he did the same with the cup after supper saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’” (Luke 22:20).
Will we keep the covenant naturally? Absolutely not. And Jesus knows that. So he has signed for us. What remains for us to do is to live grateful lives that are grounded, not in our own failings, but in his promise.
May Christ’s peace with you today and always, Tasha