“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s devotional for January 5, 2022
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
Last Sunday, I ended the sermon by inviting you to join me in renewing our covenant with God. To do so, we used a portion of John Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Service. Wesley’s Covenant Renewal service included this introduction:
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
the Christian life is redeemed from sin and consecrated to God.
Through baptism, we have entered this life
and have been admitted into the new covenant
of which Jesus Christ is the Mediator.
He sealed it with his own blood, that it might last for ever.
On the one side, God promises to give us new life in Christ,
the Source and Perfecter of our faith.
On the other side, we are pledged
to live no more for ourselves but only for Jesus Christ,
who loved us and gave himself for us.
Is there a part of this statement that you find particularly meaningful? What does this statement mean to you?
I love Wesley’s introduction. It captures the heart of our covenantal faith. First, God makes promises to us; in response we make promises to God. The Christian life is lived within this covenant. The covenant is deeply rooted in grace. By that I mean God knows us—God knows our hearts, our strength and weakness too. God knows we are not perfect and that there will be times, maybe many times, when we will not be faithful to the covenant. Even so, God offers us the covenant, and that is grace! Not only does God offer a covenant relationship, but within the covenant relationship God grows us in our faith and faithfulness so that little by little our lives become an example of what covenant faithfulness is all about—grace upon grace. In the meantime, it is important for us to recognize our limitations and our need for grace—which leads us to the importance of taking time to renew our covenant with God.
I also love the practice of Covenant renewal. While aspirational, the practice is intended to be very practical. It has to do with how we are going to live our lives moving forward. Let’s take a few minutes to think about the changes that (by the grace of God) will take place in our lives because of intentionally renewing our covenant with God.
First, what hopes, or dreams do you have for 2022 (this is an aspirational question)? In thinking about hopes and dreams for 2022, is there anything you can be doing to help the dream become a reality (this is a practical question)?
When you think about your spiritual life, is there some aspect of your spiritual life you would like to further develop or improve during the months to come? How might you work on this?
By the end of 2022, how do you hope people will describe any changes that have taken place in your life over the year? What do you need to work on today in order for those changes to be evident to others?
Answers to these questions are highly personal and different for each one of us. Of course, one thing is the same for all of us—God’s commitment to the covenant. As we take our promises seriously, putting them into practice, God is at work growing us in faith and faithfulness.
This leads me to one more thing I love about the practice of Covenant renewal—it is a hopeful practice! God is not finished with us yet. What does this mean to you?
God bless you!
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
“Service of Covenant Renewal” Sermon Video