Covenant Reflection, Lay Leader, Hazel Loney

A Covenant Reflection from our Lay Leader, Mrs Hazel Loney 

"To stand at the beginning of a new year and pray this prayer makes all our other new year resolutions look tame."

Maybe its because the covenant service is usually the first Sunday in January and people just like to take that Sunday off or maybe its because the words of that service are so radical, it seems that our covenant services are not amongst our largest gatherings. If the reason for that is the latter, then I am glad in one way and disturbed in another. In the past those who took part prepared by prayer, fasting, reflection and self-examination before engaging in this service which is an indication that they grasped its significance and carefully considered the covenant they were committing to. If some feel it is too demanding, then at least its honest to avoid it. However, this annual service is one of Methodism’s great contributions to the church and the famous covenant prayer is its centrepiece. To stand at the beginning of a new year and pray this prayer makes all our other new year resolutions look tame. 

I am no longer my own but yours.
Your will, not mine, be done in all things,
Wherever you may place me, in all that I do
And in all that I may endure;
When there is work for me and when there is none;
When I am troubled and when I am at peace.
Your will be done, when I am valued and when I am disregarded;
when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking.
I willingly offer all I have and am to serve you,
As and where you choose.
Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours.
May it be so forever,
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven. Amen.

It is the opening and closing lines which make me catch my breath,

“I am no longer my own but yours”

We cannot say this without deep reflection and serious contemplation. When we get to the end of the prayer, I am almost overwhelmed when I consider who I am addressing and who has invited me into this relationship to enfold me in his love and include me in his purposes for a lost world, “Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit You are mine and I am yours ,May it be so forever.” 

So, I understand if some avoid it because of its gravity but that disturbs me because only discipleship and commitment like this will bring blessing and growth to our church.