Covenantal Relationships

But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.

God finds fault with them when he says:
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them
out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days,” says the Lord:
“I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach one another
or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful towards their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:6-13)

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” (Mark 14:22-24)

For Contemplation

We are called into relationship by God. A covenant is a sacred agreement. We form communities based on a sacred agreement with each other that is based on our covenantal relationship to God. We are God’s people based on our acknowledgment of God. God has written onto our hearts the laws of the universe, and by following those laws we fulfill our purpose as human beings. Mutual love defines our relationship with God and with each other. Our treatment and behavior of others defines our relationship to God: As Jesus says—“love one another as I have loved you” and “what you do unto others you do unto me.”

A community in covenant shares a sacred agreement. Our community and our covenants are sacred because our community is the sum of all our relationships to each other, plus our relationship to God. This is a transcendent agreement because it binds us to eternity by adding God to all of our relationships. And do not forget, God is love. We seek love together; we seek truth together; we seek justice together; we seek our purpose together; we seek to live in freedom that is realized in God’s love; we seek to support each other on our spiritual journey.

In order for us to do these things we need to live with and engage with each other in an environment that is transparent, open, and always in conversation: conversation with each other and conversation with God. I believe it is also important that the environment we create together be safe, that it allow questioning, that we allow people to work out their spiritual destiny without judgment.

Prayer

God of love, help us to look into our hearts where our sacred agreement with you is held. Help us to realize that inside of us is your universal law, a law for all places and times; help us to understand that words do not explain the depth and the sensitivity of this law to our condition in this world. Help us to see the perfection of this law and the realization of this law in the covenant that exists between us individually and in all of the communities in which we live. May your openness and truth help us to establish openness and truth in all of our relationships. May your love help us establish love between us and everyone we meet on our spiritual journey. May our covenant of mutual love and compassion help us eliminate suffering in the world. Amen.