Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is present in this place, and I did not know it!’
Genesis 28:20 (TANAKH)
In a recent post I spoke about being attentive to three important communal covenants that I have made: baptism, marriage, & ordination. These are key relationships that continue to shape me by being means of grace in my life.
As I continue to read Genesis I’m struck by the continual reminders of covenant. God is a God of covenant making with Adam & Eve, with Noah & his family, with Abraham & Sarah, with Isaac & Rebekah, with Jacob . . .
At each step of the way God reminds all of them of a covenant made and the promises that accompany that covenant. Their mistakes, their unfaithfulness, the struggles of life do not negate the covenant instead the covenant serves as a continual guide and reminder of God’s intention for those with whom the covenant has been made.
In baptism I entered in a covenant with God to be part of the community of faith with Jesus as our Lord. In marriage I vowed to live in partnership with another and only that other for the rest of my life. In ordination I joined the community of the ordained to be about leading the Christian community towards kingdom life.
I wonder if we realize how important these covenants are? Do we recognize in making them that “surely the Lord” is in them?
Sometimes we make covenants without realizing their importance and what it means to live in them. In order to recognize their importance I think we need to do a better job of formation in what it means to be part of these covenants. We also need to learn the great story of faith, for our covenant making is the continuation of God’s story in our lives.
Even when we don’t realize it, God is present in our covenant making. Part of our task as God’s people is to shine a light on that presence, to proclaim the good news in the covenant making, and remind those who are entering these covenants that the promises made are means of grace in their lives.
I continue to be surprised by what I encounter each time I engage the story of faith. I look forward to this continued journey!