As mentioned last week we’re going to take some time to work through the Covenant of Community Life we said together in December last year.
Jumping from last week’s sermon and reading I want to spend some time looking at what it looks like when we are one church, caring for each other and creating a place from which we can look outward. Over the next 6 weeks we will spend some time in this covenant document, see what can lead us biblically as well as touch on some of the elements of the Meeting Together document that has recently been produced by the eLM Presbytery Ministers within the Synod.
The book of Matthew will be our guide, particularly chapter 18, as we listen to the teaching of Jesus around greatness, temptation, caring for all, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Our first covenant statement is as follows (and I’ve asked Sue to add the whole statement into the pewsheet for the next few weeks): 1. We will pursue honesty, openness and grace in our relationships with one another.
Grace is something that we are given every day as followers of Christ. It is not something we can control, but it is also something we can give to others. Grace can be defined “...within Christian theology as the spontaneous, unmerited gift of the divine favour in the salvation of sinners, and the divine influence operating in individuals for their regeneration and sanctification.” (from Britannica.com)
Our reading speaks of the challenge to become like children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. I think this invites us to consider all around us who are journeying on the path of discipleship and ensure our relationships with each other are full of honesty, openness and grace. As we grow older and become adults we can lose our openness, trust and honest with each other. We can begin to second guess the motives and actions we exhibit as well as receive. We all deserve honesty in our interactions with our fellow members, sometimes it may be a bit hard to hear that honesty, but that is where the grace comes in. Grace that is offered and received, understanding the impact of our words and actions and that how we receive them may not indeed be how they are intended.