Methodist Update – January 2011

Since the early days of the Methodist movement, over 250 years ago, congregations were invited to share in a Service once a year to renew their Covenant relationship with God.  A covenant is an agreement or set of promises which 2 people exchange.  It implies a commitment to each other.  So our covenant with God begins with Him in that He has given himself for us on the cross and through His resurrection we are born again into Eternal Life.  We are then called to respond by giving our lives to Him, by dying to ourself.

During our Covenant Service we shall have time to confess our sins to God, receive his forgiveness and be reminded of his promises to us.

There will be a sermon on this theme and then we will share the words of the following prayer before ending with Communion.

Sisters and brothers in Christ, let us again accept our place within this covenant which God has made with us and with all who are called to be Christ’s disciples. This means that, by the help of the Holy Spirit, we accept God’s purpose for us, and the call to love and serve God in all our life and work. Christ has many services to be done: Some are easy, others are difficult; some bring honour, others bring reproach; some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests, others are contrary to both; in some we may please Christ and please ourselves; in others we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.  Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us.  Therefore let us make this covenant of God our own.  Let us give ourselves to him, trusting in his promises and relying on his grace. 

Eternal God, in your faithful and enduring love you call us to share in your gracious covenant in Jesus Christ.  In obedience we hear and accept your commands; in love we seek to do your perfect will; with joy we offer ourselves anew to you.  We are no longer our own but yours.

I am no longer my own but yours.  Your will, not mine, be done in all things, wherever you may place me, in all that I do and in all that I may endure; when there is work for me and when there is none; when I am troubled and when I am at peace.  Your will be done when I am valued and when I am disregarded; when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking; when I have all things, and when I have nothing.  I willingly offer all I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose.  Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours.  May it be so for ever.  Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven.  Amen.

Of course these are words which we only say if we really mean them and so they are printed above so that we can think and pray over these words in advance of our Service.  Basically in the Covenant Service we are saying to God “your will be done in my life.” As we do so we remember that God’s will is “good, pleasing and perfect…..” (Romans 12:2)

Our Covenant Service (which includes Communion) in Millstreet this year will be on Sunday 1st January at 7pm.

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