Covenant is an important concept in the Judeo-Christian faiths. The theme of covenant is found throughout the bible. In the Old Testament God made covenants with Noah, Abraham and the people of Israel. In the New Testament we recall the words of our Lord every time we celebrate the Lord’s supper; “…This cup is the new covenant in my blood shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sins” Covenant is the way God binds himself to us in relationship. One of the ways we understand ourselves in the Christian faith is “Covenant People.”
A covenant in its simplest understanding is an agreement between two parties. Each party agrees to certain conditions on its part and pledges to faithfully keep them. During the course of our life we make covenants; sometimes they are formal and other times informal. Covenant is one way of understanding marriage. Though the more legalistic approach of contract is becoming more popular these days. Another covenant we make, but this not between humans as in marriage, but between God and us is in baptism. In baptism God binds us to himself by forgiving us our sin, giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit and making us his regenerated children through water and the word. We, on the other hand pledge to live faithfully as God’s people, and all that that means. Covenant in the Christian faith has more of a moral and spiritual force than legal.
Covenant has mutuality built into it, especially covenants between humans. So it can only be a good thing that the Eastern Synod, in seeking to strengthen the relationship between the Synod on the one hand and the congregations on the other, choses to use the instrument of covenant. For Covenant is a concept that embraces relationship, responsibility to each other, fidelity to pledge and identity as the covenant people of God. It can only be hoped that the spirit in which the synod wishes to enter a covenant relationship with the congregations be reciprocated. Or at the very least that the spirit of covenant itself is embraced by all.
– Pastor Roy