Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Covenant of ONE

Today our parish launched a new stewardship initiative, conceived and planned by parishioners. It will unfold over the next four weeks.

Here is the overview--stay tuned for more!

“I will establish my covenant with you…” -  Genesis 6: 18

The fall is here, and families and people are back into the routine of the school and work year.  It’s a time of year when it is important to consider the daily and weekly rhythm of life.  Why not ask yourself two simple questions:

“How can I live my ‘Sunday morning faith’ every day of the week?”

“How can I enrich my spiritual life and go deeper with God?"
Figuring out the answers to these soulful questions requires a sanctified curiosity.  Figuring how to live them out and “practice what we preach” requires a selfless commitment.  In the Bible this special kind of commitment between human beings and God is called a Covenant.

The Bible speaks of covenants between God and Noah (Genesis 9); God and Abraham (Genesis 12); as well as God and the people of Israel through Moses in (Exodus 19).  The gospels remind us that at the Last Supper (Matthew 26) Jesus proclaimed a new covenant in his blood between sinful humanity and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

A covenant with God is far more than a contract.  It is a prayerful willingness to enter deeper into relationship with the Almighty and to practice the self-giving love of the gospel.  We all want our lives to be meaningful in so many ways—work, family, our relationship with God.  Is there a simple way to do this?

One approach that we can all consider is to make a covenant with God, a covenant that is exercised through the parish but is between you and our loving Creator.  There is a way to do this that will be outlined in more detail over the next four weeks of the fall.  It is called the “Covenant of One.”

The Covenant of One is a very simple and meaningful concept to bring a taste of the eternal into your everyday life.  It means that you make a commitment in three areas of spiritual life every week, to push you forward in embracing God’s work in your life and in our parish.

The Covenant of One asks that you decide to pray for one hour every week, volunteer your time for one hour per week, and give one hour’s wages.

As in all relationships, communication is the foundation to growth and joy.   Do you speak to God in prayer, and can you hear the Holy Spirit guiding you in your daily life?  This can be a real challenge, but there is no more wonderful thing than to walk within the will of God and experience his grace palpably through prayer. 

Do you look back on your week and wonder what you accomplished?  Commit to give just ONE hour every week, dedicated to the work of the eternal, to be the hands and feet of Christ.  Live every day with an “expectation of revelation” and experience the wonder of knowing it is “more blessed to give than receive.” 

We live in an age of incredible luxury and each of us has moments when our conscience asks us whether we really need that new gadget when there is so much need in the world, indeed on our front doorstep.  Are we collecting trinkets or gaining treasures?  One concrete way to share our gifts more is to resolve to give ONE hour of our weekly wages to God’s work.

Hence: we are all invited to make our own “Covenant of One” with Our Lord.  Let us all join together in this endeavor!

ONE hour of prayer each week over and above what you already offer.

ONE hour of time/talent each week to Christ’s work—of your choice.

ONE hour of income each week to God’s work in our church.


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