The Covenant Service, often celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, is at the heart of Methodists' devotion and discipleship, and their dedication in working for social justice. In the service the Church joyfully celebrates God's gracious offer to Israel that "I will be their God and they shall be my people".
This offer is then extended beyond Israel to all women and men in Jesus Christ, who also provides the supreme example of what it is to live in such a relationship with God.
What God offers is a loving relationship. The Covenant is not a contract in which God and human beings agree to provide particular goods and services for each other!
It is not something that we have to do to create a relationship with God.
God has freely and graciously already made it possible.
Rather, the Covenant is the means of grace by which we accept the relationship and then seek to sustain it. It is therefore not so much about getting in to a relationship with God as it is about staying in it. It is not about acquiring a relationship with God, but living within the loving relationship that God has already offered us.
God's gracious offer to us is therefore simultaneously a challenge. If God is committed to us, are we prepared to accept that as reality and commit ourselves in return to God? Even if we do choose to accept it, how can we manage to live out our commitment adequately, frail and human as we are?
The service is a gift not a demand! And God will give you the grace to do it all. You are not alone
Many of these services will be shared with friends from other Churches. All are welcome to share in a Covenant Service.
You will be welcome, whether you are sharing in a Covenant Service for the first time, have done it annually for many years, or simply want to watch what others do without taking part yourself.
Although Covenant Services are normally held during January, there are exceptions so WATCH THIS SPACE!