I welcomed the New Year not with merry making but with covenant making.
I was at the Wesleyan Covenant Watchnight Service, hours before the turn of the year. With no assigned pastoral role and duty that night I had the most contemplative time.
There was no fanfare of any sorts. The entire service was a solemn reflection on the year about to pass.
As I reflected I felt a deep sense of gratitude to God for all His mercies.
I thank God for His loving care, for giving me life, reason, purpose, calling and ministry. I praise God for being the rock of my strength in adversity and temptation. I am truly thankful to God for meeting my failures with His patience, forgiveness and overflowing grace.
During the service I made this Covenant with God:
Let me be your servant, under your command.
I will no longer be my own.
I will give up myself to your will in all things.
Lord, make me what You will.
I put myself fully into Your hands:
Put me to doing, put me to suffering,
Let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
Let me be full, let me be empty,
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and with a willing heart
Give it all to your pleasure and disposal.
To be sure, I said that covenant prayer with a clear mind, an open heart and a willing spirit. In actual fact I also said:
O God, You know that I make this covenant with you today
without guile or reservation.If any falsehood should be in it, guide me and help me to set it aright.
There are church members who pointed out that such Covenant is simply too hard to make, not to mention, demanding and impossible to keep. But I told them we must remember to whom we are making this covenant.
We are making this Covenant with a God whose love always abounds, whose faithfulness is ever great and whose mercies endure forever. He is a God who made Covenant with His people throughout the ages. He is a Covenant Friend of Abraham, Moses and David.
To this Covenant Friend, we made our covenant to serve and worship Him.
This new year, let us not just welcome another calendar year. Let us welcome the beginning of a new spiritual year.