Thus Do We Covenant
By Buffy Boke, September 27, 2016
Thus Do We Covenant
Covenant —noun: an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
Covenant — noun: a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
Covenant — noun: the conditional promises made to humanity by God as told in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Covenant — verb: to promise; to pledge.
Every week we covenant with one another
To dwell together in peace
To seek knowledge
To serve others
This month, this year, we’ll be talking about ourselves as members of this community – this parish. And we’ll be talking about ourselves as members of the larger community – our towns, our commonwealth and states, our nation, our global home.
We make that promise every week, to dwell, to seek, to serve. To dwell together…to seek together…to serve together.
The oldest of the Universalist messages is this, from the first epistle of John, who said, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
That word “god” may not have much meaning for you, but you are smart people – you can translate it. I say to you that there is nothing greater than the force of love. The ability to treat all human beings – yes, even all living beings – with loving kindness is the greatest ability of all.
And because we say every week that love is the doctrine of our congregation – of our church, for those of you who love that word – because we declare in the first sentence of our congregational covenant that love is our doctrine, we are bound by our covenant to do the hardest thing of all, and that is to work to listen to others with the intent to hear them, to hold our own egos at bay and find the love within ourselves that passes all understanding. And then to bring that love to bear on all we do in the world.