“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
Exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”
Revisiting A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition each year offers a sense of beginning and renewal in the world for those few suspended moments as we begin a new year. The task for us is keeping our commitments as followers, apprentices of Christ as leaders of the church. Discipleship always comes with a cost, and in these days of uncertainty, discipleship may become more difficult to live out and to share with those who are seeking. True Discipleship is a necessary way of living if we are to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, and it “ain’t” easy (ie. Mother Theresa, Sojourner Truth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer). AND it is never too early for disciple-making.
Our children, at their youngest, are trying to figure out what to trust. Since they do not yet have the ability to speak or understand words, our actions as disciples help them realize who loves them. We may say to an infant that we love him, but if we do not feed him, hold him, change him, cuddle him, laugh and play with him, soothe him when he is hurting, nor look into his eyes, then that baby knows we do not love him. Likewise, by feeding, holding, cuddling, playing, soothing, and connecting through eye contact, a child will know love.
Children seek love and comfort wherever they can find it, just like those who walk through the doors of the church for the first time, or those we encounter in our work out in the community. Our covenant with God must go beyond words. Our actions speak the loudest.
Let us, by our actions, live into our covenant with God.
A Disciple’s Journal: A Guide for Daily Prayer, Bible Reading, and Discipleship 2016 by Steven W. Manskar