A New Covenant and A New Creation

John 15:1-8: 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

The Christian life is a life found in Christ, redeemed from sin, and consecrated to God.

A Christian is one who has entered into this life and has been admitted into the new covenant of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the mediator of this everlasting covenant which he sealed with his own blood.

God, who promises to give us new life in Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, stands on one side of the covenant. Each day, God shows us that his promise stands firm as he proves his goodness and grace to us.

We stand on the other side of the covenant promising to no longer live for ourselves but instead to live fruitful lives only for Christ because he first loved us and gave his life for us.

Graciously, Jesus has grafted us in to be branches that are now a part of the vine that is him. He has cleaned us and pruned us from our sin.  As we remain part of Christ, we remain branches that provide good fruits of his love.

During this Lenten time of self-examination and reflection, let us look at our lives and reaffirm our part of the covenantal life we live as Christ followers and reaffirm our promise to live as a new creation in him.

A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition

I am no longer my own, but yours.

Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,

Praised for you or criticized for you.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.

And now, O wonderful and holy God,

Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,

you are mine, and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

Let it also be made in heaven.

Amen.

Paula Stover