From the Corner of Hillside and Crescent
It has been quite a month! I have had the privilege of officiating for one Renewal of Vows Ceremony and a Wedding. I have also had to say goodbye to a lifelong friend who died, along with another high school acquaintance. And this year is the fiftieth anniversary of my own marriage.
Some of our scriptures this summer have reminded us of the importance of Covenant in our relationship with God. The Covenant of scripture is that God comes to humankind and indicates a desire to be in a covenantal relationship with us. God will be our God. God will love us with unfailing love always and forever. It is no wonder that the liturgy of marriage is about covenant. We make vows to one another to be there for each other in sickness or in health, in joy and in sorrow, in parenting teenagers and being the graceful aging parents we can be (yes, I know that isn’t in the vows, but it should be).
True friendships are covenants of grace also. You don’t have to be geographically near to one another to be in a covenant of friendship with another person. Covenants of friendship mean we care for one another, we are interested in what happens to the other, we would, if we could, sit by them in sadness and have a great party with them in joy.
In our church family we are also held together in covenant. We promise when we become members to be there for each other, to work with each other to do the work of ministry, to pray for one another, to love one another even when we test that resolve by our own actions and language.
The predominant image that has returned to me over and over these past couple of weeks is how we can be there for each other in rejoicing and in weeping. We tell stories. We hold each other in a kind of grace. We become richer for being there for each other. We may or may not be aware that all this is a gift of Holy Grace to our lives.
My thanks to those who allowed me to be a part of their beginnings in the covenant of marriage. My gratitude for the friendship of my lifelong friend Pam who has now entered a place of peace and wholeness and rest. My thanks that my high school friend William crossed my path. And, always, my thanks for the blessing of my own covenant of marriage.