This is an adapted reblog from http://diggingalot.org/diggingalot/?p=7802
I will paste in the next paragraph, but this has added poignancy- this will be the last Covenant Service I will lead whilst in pastoral charge of a congregation (Of course, I may do others, but never in a church I lead- unless, of course, I go back into full time ministry). These words and why we use them mean so much to me- especially now: I do not fully know the way ahead.
This is a Sunday where we renew our promises with God. ‘We’ is important: it is not an individual thing, it is something we do together.
I was never a fan of written liturgy, but as I get older I have come to realise that my words are too many and fallible. Sometimes I need to hear words that have lasted for ages. So this morning I will be using most of the written service.
This is the prayer at the centre. In an individualised, I can be who I want to be culture, it is like a cold shower:-
‘I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.’
A study guide says about this:-
‘The traditional Covenant prayer (shown above) makes it very clear that this affirmation is a serious one that embraces the whole of our life, in all its parts. Most people find it quite tough to say, and really mean it. But the prayer is so central to the Christian life that other Churches have also adopted it.
In our culture we tend to prize our ability to make decisions and choose our own path in life. It can feel very hard to give that up. But this prayer is like a love poem. It is about surrendering to God in love and joy’.
I’d go with that