When God makes a covenant with us, God says: “I will love you with an everlasting love. I will be faithful to you, even when you run away from me, reject me, or betray me.” In our society we don’t speak much about covenants; we speak about contracts. When we make a contract with a person, we say: “I will fulfill my part as long as you fulfill yours. When you don’t live up to your promises, I no longer have to live up to mine.” Contracts are often broken because the partners are unwilling or unable to be faithful to their terms.
But God didn’t make a contract with us; God made a covenant with us, and God wants our relationships with one another to reflect that covenant. That’s why marriage, friendship, life in community are all ways to give visibility to God’s faithfulness in our lives together. ~ Henri Nouwen
God loves us with and everlasting love. Faithful to us even when our response has been contempt. We have a God whose love is abiding. We have a God who is does not treat us a people who have voided our contract and loves us as a people who are in covenant, in relationship. A relationship based in forgiveness and commitment. God never gives up on us.
Let us look to our communities as places where covenantal love is is the standard. we are called to live in community in such a way that we might know that we must coexist with brothers and sisters in faithfulness. We are not a people who have a contractual obligation to follow Jesus. We follow because we have been chosen and loved even when we have turned away. Given we have a God who has loved us with an everlasting love, we might also consider how we might more fully love one another.
Let us be people of the covenant. Let us be people aware of the Everlasting love that we have been given.
Thank you Kevin for this explanation of “convenant” beyond “contract” It is very meaningful and a bit of a responsibility when one takes the meaning into community and the world.
How true this is. God’s covenant is backed by His love which is constant. As a parent, I think of this because we have a child who is bi-polar, who often disappears for a while but always comes back expecting help and comfort. I really have to work on being forgiving and loving with herin a way that I don’t have to do with the other three. I have to pray for God’s love and compassion to flow through me even when I don’t feel like doing anything about it. i pray daily for God to strengthen my resolve to help but not pander.