SERMON TITLE: “Our Covenant with God: Covenant Renewal”
SERMON TEXT: Joshua 24:14-28
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: October 18, 2020, at First UMC
Our First United Methodist beekeepers began selling their 2020 honey products this week. As I paid for my two jars of honey, I was reminded of the covenant relationship our beekeepers established with missionary Mozart Adevu in Ghana, Africa, several years ago. Ever since then, our beekeepers use money from their annual honey sales to help support Mozart’s work as an agricultural missionary of the United Methodist Church. Because of that, every time you or I buy honey or a jar of jam or salsa made with honey, or any of the beekeepers’ other products, we help Mozart teach his fellow Ghanaians better and more sustainable ways of growing crops, raising farm animals, and keeping bees.
In turn, as our covenant partner, Mozart sends reports to our church every so often, updating us on his missionary work. In his September 14 newsletter, Mozart told about the drought that caused significant agricultural losses in the first growing season this year, and how he is teaching his farmers how to mitigate these effects of climate change. Mozart wrote about two of his students whom he sent to study at an agricultural school in Japan, in the hopes that the younger men will become strong agricultural teachers in their communities. And Mozart told about all their efforts to keep the coronavirus at bay, with social distancing, good hygiene, and nutrition supplements from moringa trees. Mozart asked for all of us covenant partners to hold his work and his people in our prayers.
Covenants are what we’re talking about this month. On October 4, we read the story of Noah and the rainbow covenant God made with him. On October 11, we reviewed the story of Abraham and the covenant of dust, stars, sand, and circumcision. And today, we’ve come to Joshua and the Hebrew tribes. Let’s think about their covenant renewal experience. What did it mean for them, and what might it mean for us, to enact a covenant renewal?