Sunday, March 3, 2013

A New Covenant

Today is the 3rd Sunday in Lent. Pastor Shannon welcomed us and noted his intention to talk about remembering… and the covenant.   

Brad began by thanking us for our participation in the Assessment. 89% responded, which is exceptional. "We are poised to move forward."

Wednesday we will go through the results of the Assessment… come if you are able.

Thursday evening there will be a meeting of the Building committee, Capital committee and Leadership committee.
Thursday, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” with Curt Fernandez

The puppets were back to invite us for the Forget Winter party, this time Squeaky the mouse and his friend Baldy the Eagle. Our "Forget Winter" Party will begin Sayurday at 6:00 p.m.  Dress for summer. Anyone interested in helping set up, come Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

After a time of worship Pastor Brad delivered the sermon.

A New Covenant

We began with the story of Noah where Brad highlighted Genesis 8:1. “But God remembered Noah.”

Memory is important. It's how we live and learn and grow and it is an essential part of life. Korsakoff's syndrome, which occurs when people have a thiamine deficiency due to severe alcohol abuse and/or severe malnutrition, destroys bug chunks of memory.

The story of Noah appears in Genesis 6 to 9. God remembered Noah. God remembered… did not forget.

Brad cited several passages where God remembered, beginning with Genesis 9:16… "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

In Gen 30:22... "Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive."

In Exodus 2:24, 25 “God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant."

The phrase “God remembers” appears 74 times in the Bible. It is synonymous with “God will act.”
God’s remembering does something, results in action. It is not just a mental activity.

A covenant means “I will be with you to the end.” God made a covenant with Israel to this end.

It is in the Genesis account the covenant is first mentioned, Genesis 6:18 There are three things to notice.
1. The Covenant is God’s doing, not ours. God initiates it.
2. It’s always two-sided. God wants something from us.
3. A covenant is all about love.

Punishment doesn’t change us. Love alone reaches deep inside to change us for real.

A Christian can’t understand the covenant without understanding Jesus and the cross. Jesus’s death was a substitution. Because of the New Covenant we have been grafted into this covenant God made with Israel.

God loves us not as a chore, but because He delights in us. The signs are important though. “Whenever I see a rainbow I will remember the covenant."

As we prepare for the Lord's Supper… what if the bread and wine are not only symbols for us, but also for God. By faith we share in this covenant relationship with God.

No comments: