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Br. Curtis Almquist1 Thessalonians 5:11

If you have the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land, you inevitably experience a great diversity of people.  Among them are Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all of whom lay claim to both the land, and to their own particular narrative of history: what has happened there down through the centuries, and why.  Though there is a common ground, there is not a common creed, as we well know… except that all three faith traditions look to the same place and time and person, the first person to be invited into a relationship with God.  And this is Abraham and his wife, Sarah, with whom God establishes a covenant.

A covenant is not the same as a contract.  A contract is a transaction, but a covenant is a relationship.  A contract is about interests, but a covenant is about identity.  And that is why contracts benefit, but covenants transform.  Covenants transform.  We are covenanted people.  I am drawing here on the teaching of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, sometime Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congrega­tions of the Commonwealth, who spoke about ten years ago to the Anglican bishops at the Lambeth Conference.[i]  In a covenant, two or more individuals, each respecting the dignity and the integrity of the other, come together in a bond of love and trust, to share their interests, sometimes even to share their lives, by pledging faithfulness to one another, to do together what neither can do alone.  A covenant is about relationship, a relationship that invites and presumes a transformative change will happen in both persons, both parties. Read More