Engaging this module
You are invited to explore this module by reading the content, watching the presentations and videos and responding to the suggested exercises and activities. You are encouraged to have a Bible and journaling materials nearby to take notes.
Think of a time when you said the words “I do,” “I swear,” or “I promise.” Where were you? Who was with you? Did you answer alone or as part of a group? Possible scenarios to consider are marriages, participating in a judicial setting, or church baptisms. Think about the context of this experience: What came before and what followed? Then consider – how was God involved?
Reflect on any groups or organizations beyond the church you are a part of. What requirements did you have to meet to become a member or to join? What sort of invitation was issued that made you want to join? When you joined this group, how was that recognized by the group? What ceremony or ritual took place? How does belonging to a church compare to these other groups or organizations?
This presentation will invite you to reflect further on what it means to enter into a covenant with God. If you would like to read along with the presentation, please click on the button below to download the transcript.
- Take a few moments to reflect on the following questions: Why might a sovereign God choose to relate through covenants? Why might God take the initiative to become known to these people?
- Throughout scripture, God covenants with the people during major crises. Examples are: following the flood; the beginning of Israel; the establishment of the rule of the kings; and the exile into Babylon. What crises of faith have you experienced in the past, or perhaps, are currently experiencing? Where is/was God in these crises? How did your trust in God change? What, then, might you hope for in the future?
COVENANT COMMUNITY – THE CHURCH
Prayer: Gracious God, if someone were to ask me, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?”, I pray that I may faithfully answer, “That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.” And that I faithfully belong to your family and serve the covenant community to which you have called me – your church. Amen.
This presentation explores God’s covenant with the church. If you would like to read along with the presentation, please click on the button below to download the transcript.
COVENANT COMMUNITY IN ACTION
This video asks participants the question “how do you experience community?” Watch the video, engage in the suggested activities and then choose some of the video examples to explore more.
- What gifts has the Holy Spirit given you? How do you use those gifts to live out your discipleship?
- Look at a recent worship bulletin from your church. Where do you see examples of our covenantal relationship with God enacted? In what ways does worship at your church offer people the opportunity to respond to God’s gift of grace and be sent out to live as disciples of Christ in the world?
- How is your church serving the world outside its doors? What difference does it make that your congregation is a covenant community in action in your particular community?
COMMUNITY IN ACTION EXAMPLES
This Is the Church
Sarah Raymond Cunningham, author
Ariel Landry, illustrator
Beaming Books: Minneapolis, MN, 2020
There’s a little rhyme that children say, a song they sing sometimes when they play.
This rhyme is about God’s family.
To do it, just move your hands like me.
Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people
What a great rhyme! Isn’t it neat!
But wait – this story’s not yet complete!
There’s more to the church than just those two lines. To learn about God’s family, let’s add to this rhyme!
Some churches are so big and wide, ten thousand people can fit inside!
Other churches are really quite small.
They fit just a few people, and that is all!
Some people have church right where they are, right in their houses. That’s not very far!
And not all churches have roofs and floors.
Some don’t have steeples, some don’t have doors.
Some people have church under the stars, and God comes and meets them right where they are.
And in places where it’s not safe to be found, some people even have church underground!
And church isn’t something that stands still, you know. The church follows God’s people wherever they go!
The church moves in buses, planes, and cars. To share God’s love, the church has gone far.
The church works among the sick, hungry and poor,
with people in need wherever they are.
It’s gone to cities, it’s gone to towns, to school and to work – the church gets around!
But how does this work? How can this be?
Can a church really move like you and me?
That’s the secret! It certainly can!
Church moves through your feet, it works through your hands.
The people ARE the church, don’t you see? Church is a word for God’s family.
‘Cause Jesus said, “Where there are two or three … who gather in my name, that’s where I’ll be.”
So let’s go back to the old rhyme now.
Get your hands ready, we’ll show you how.
Here is a building, it may have a steeple.
But where is the church?
The church is the people!
On this day, the church welcomes you.
You’re part of God’s people, you’re the church too!