Sunday, January 6, 2013

Covenant service in Sri Lanka

What does Christian service look like? Should it be easy or hard? Should it be fulfilling or frustrating?

Today Robin and I attended the annual Covenant Service at Kollupitiya Methodist Church in Colombo. Until today I was unfamiliar with this traditional methodist service, which was introduced by John Wesley. I particularly appreciated the following preamble to the Covenant Prayer:

All: we are yours, Lord. We reverence you. We dedicate ourselves to your service. 
Pastor: in so giving ourselves to the Lord, we affirm that we will heartily embrace what he has appointed us to do, both corporately and personally. 
Let him appoint you to your work. Christ has many services to be done; some are more easy and honorable, others more difficult and menial.
Some are suitable to our inclinations and interest; others are contrary to both
. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves, as when he requires us to feed and clothe ourselves.
Indeed, there are some spiritual duties that are more pleasing than others; as to rejoice in the Lord, to be a blessing and praising God.
These are the sweet works of a Christian. But then there are other works, wherein to please Christ is to deny ourselves.
Find what it is that Christ expects of you and then give yourselves totally to his will, without bargaining and without reservation.
All: make us what you will, Lord, and send us where we are to go. Let us be vessels of silver or gold, or vessels of wood or stone; as long as we are vessels of honor we are content.
If we are not the head, or the eye, or the ear, one of the nobler and more honorable instruments, then let us be the hands, or the feet, as one of the lowest and least esteemed of all the servants of our Lord.
Pastor: Lord, place us in your kingdom in the roles you have designed for us.
People: Lord, make all of us your servants.
Pastor: in exalted places, or humble places.
People: let us be full; let us be empty.
Pastor: let us have all things; let us have nothing.

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