SERMON TITLE: “Our Covenant with God: The New Covenant”
SERMON TEXT: Hebrews 8:1-13
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: October 25, 2020, at First UMC
A couple days ago, I received an email from Consumer Reports. They said access to my online account had been suspended. Without even checking it out, I was pretty sure why. I had set it up several years ago with an annual auto-renewal feature. But it was linked to an old credit card number that I no longer use, and I had never updated that in their system. In order for Consumer Reports to keep up its part of our online relationship, I would need to provide them my new payment information. If I valued what Consumer Reports could offer me, then I would need to make a better effort to stay connected and current—fresh, relevant, and new.
That basic aspect of any agreement or covenant relationship has been on my mind as I’ve been thinking about how to talk to you again about our covenant with God. On October 4, we talked about God’s rainbow covenant with Noah—when God promised never again to destroy all of life with rain and flood. On October 11, we talked about God’s covenant of dust, stars, sand, and circumcision—when God promised to make Abraham’s family greater than could ever be counted. And, on October 18, we talked about God’s covenant with Joshua and the Hebrew tribes—when the people renewed their covenant and Joshua placed a large stone under an oak tree as a witness to their promise to serve and obey only the Lord.
The theme of covenant comes up over and over again in the Bible. Sometimes it’s about reaffirming or renewing an old covenant, and sometimes, like in today’s scripture, the emphasis is more on starting fresh and establishing something new. Let’s take some time this morning to consider this passage from Hebrews, chapter eight. Let’s see if we can discern what it might mean for us to participate with God in “the new covenant.”