As we see, our covenant together extends outside the walls of our church building. This paragraph is almost entirely devoted to the things we do as a church while we are not meeting together. We must constantly remind ourselves that we are not just the church on Sunday mornings, or even Sunday nights or Wednesday nights. We are the church of Jesus Christ 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Just as God never leaves us or forsakes us, we never cease to be his people. That simply means that we continue to be in covenant together even when we are not physically together.
I love the emphasis placed on the family in the opening phrases of this paragraph. We are charged with the solemn duty, responsibility and joy of nurturing our children in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Children’s time in Sunday School and church activities should not be the only time of learning about the faith. In fact, those times should really be a supplement to the growth that is happening in the home. Parents are directly and ultimately responsible for the education of their children according to the principles of Scripture. We must not abdicate this responsibility to anyone. The church body is a support, not a substitute. I am thankful that Stephenie Stokes and so many other volunteers are emphasizing this important goal of family worship each week as our children gather together at Oak Crest.
Did you notice the third phrase? We are in covenant together to share our faith through our actions and our words with our friends and neighbors. I don’t know about you, but I need constant improvement in this area. It should be a top priority of our lives to share the gospel with the people in our lives. As the final phrases of the paragraph imply, we sometimes share the love of Christ through our lives and actions. Only in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit can we even hope to be wise and just and faithful in all our dealings. As we live out this covenant together, day by day we will be making Christ known in our community. Integrity and honesty and hard work are increasingly rare in our culture. God is ready to use us to be a blessing to others. I am reminded of the old hymn, Make Me a Blessing, “Make me a blessing, out of my life may Jesus shine, make me a blessing, O Savior I pray, make me a blessing to someone today.”