How Does Our Call and Covenant Fit Together?

by Duane Maust
John 17: 20-26
May 11, 2008

I want to take a look at God’s call for Jubilee and then take a look at the covenant that we share when we become members. Let’s see what it can mean for us. This is also Mother’s Day. I will leave up to each of you to honor your mothers today. It is also Pentecost day today. That is the day the Holy Spirit came to the early church. On Pentecost we take time to renew our covenant to each other and also celebrate communion.

I hung this banner on the podium to remind us what our call is about.

Nurture-Service-Evangelism-Worship

When we think of nurture- we mean teaching God’s word, supporting each other, and sharing God’s love with children and adults in ways that bring the Jubilee family closer to the heart of God.

Service- we can express our Christian faith in our homes, church community and workplaces. We also show our support to Pine Lake Camp and Community of Hope Tutoring Program. Then we have a host of our more personal things that we do for service. (Mennonite Disaster Service, young mothers groups, Habitat, etc.)

Evangelism- that is sharing the Good News of the Gospel and praying for people God is calling. This is inviting someone to church or telling them what God means to you. This is something we can all do in our own ways.

Worship- when we come together to celebrate the presence of God, that is worship. We come to listen to the voice of God and hear what he has for me. We can continue that connection to God all week long.

This is what we want this church to be about.

I was looking at this banner this week and noticing what I think this picture may be saying.

Worship-Nuture-Service-Evangelism. This is our call or purpose. This is what Jubilee is about. Audrey Kanagy designed and Charlene Gorrow made this banner approximately 10 years ago.

The flowers are reaching toward God. We reach toward God in Worship. We try to get closer to the light, the strength of our faith.

Someone put the bulbs in the ground. Someone planted the seed. We are to be out there putting seed into the ground. We are to be evangelizing. We are planting seeds in people’s lives. We are to be about spreading God’s love.

I think that is a watering spout on the side there. I see that activity is our service. We are busy doing helpful things. We work through many programs and are doing service projects.

After those seeds sprout, those roots reach for food in the soil. They need to be nurtured. We need to reach out and be fed so our faith can grow.

This is what we want the church to be. Now this covenant is what we give to each other here at Jubilee. What I wanted to do was look and see how much our covenant has the Call for Jubilee woven into it. The covenant is a relational statement to each other.

This covenant has 16 different points to it. This is what we will do for each other.

To love one another
To serve one another
To forgive one another
To accept and be patient with one another
To submit to one another
To pray for, build up and encourage one another.
To care for one another and bear one another’s burdens
To care for one another and bear one another’s burdens
To teach, admonish, and disciple one another
To live simply and share our resources with one another
To be kind to and speak well of one another
To be truthful with and confess our sins to one another.
To welcome one another and practice hospitality
Reach out to our communities with ministries of evangelism
Cooperate with other churches to promote Christian witness
Love our enemies
Promote justice and peacemaking in the name of Christ

I put an ‘n’ for nurture, ‘s’ for service, ‘e’ for evangelism, or ‘w’ for worship by each point. It was a challenge to me to review these points in this way. As I was studying these points, they challenged me to do better.

I must say I feel some guilt when I read these and realize the room for growth I have in some of these points. This is a goal sheet. It is something for us to shoot for. We promise to work toward this.

Well, I will go on after that disclaimer. I will give you the same space I want for myself.

This is how I scored it: n, s, w, n, n, nw, s, nw, s, n, n, n, the last 4 e. Some of these points can go for several.

I noticed I did not score many for worship. But I realized we do that to God. This is more about what we do to each other here at church. We do worship.

You can see some nurture in each of the points. There is a good bit of overlap.

Like Jesus prayed for the believers, I think that prayer was for us. We should also pray in a similar way. We will pray, “That we may be one.” We will pray, “That we may have unity.”

Have all members read the covenant.

Pray for strength.

Read 1 Cor 11: 23-26.

Everyone that is a baptized believer is welcome to come for communion.


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