In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
NOTE: we remind you that you can study Wesley’s Covenant prayer more deeply through Chris Folmsbee’s book The Wesley Prayer Challenge Participant Book, published by Abingdon Press. The book is available through the Well Bookstore (https://thewell.cor.org/), is also available in a Kindle version, and has resources for group as well as individual study.
31 The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 It won’t be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant with me even though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put my Instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 They will no longer need to teach each other to say, “Know the LORD!” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD; for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins.
6 But now, Jesus has received a superior priestly service just as he arranged a better covenant that is enacted with better promises.
7 If the first covenant had been without fault, it wouldn’t have made sense to expect a second. 8 But God did find fault with them, since he says,
Look, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a covenant with the house of Israel,
and I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,
because they did not continue to keep my covenant,
and I lost interest in them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord.
I will place my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 And each person won’t ever teach a neighbor
or their brother or sister, saying, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know me,
from the least important of them to the most important;
12 because I will be lenient toward their unjust actions,
and I won’t remember their sins anymore [Jeremiah 31:31-34].
11 But Christ has appeared as the high priest of the good things that have happened. He passed through the greater and more perfect meeting tent, which isn’t made by human hands (that is, it’s not a part of this world). 12 He entered the holy of holies once for all by his own blood, not by the blood of goats or calves, securing our deliverance for all time. 13 If the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkled ashes of cows made spiritually contaminated people holy and clean, 14 how much more will the blood of Jesus wash our consciences clean from dead works in order to serve the living God? He offered himself to God through the eternal Spirit as a sacrifice without any flaw.
15 This is why he’s the mediator of a new covenant (which is a will): so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance on the basis of his death. His death occurred to set them free from the offenses committed under the first covenant.
Wesley’s prayer ends with a recognition that we must give more than a casual, intellectual assent to God’s offer of a covenant relationship with us. Although we know we will at times struggle to live out what God wants completely, “the covenant I have made on earth” is a way of saying that I take this seriously, that I am genuine in making this commitment. Asking that it “be ratified in heaven” recognizes that the commitment comes, not from someone apt to have a change of heart at any time, but from the eternal God who has always sought deep connection with his beloved created creatures. And “Amen” isn’t just a kind of meaningless verbal punctuation. “‘Amen’ means, ‘Yes, indeed!’ or ‘Surely . . . in very truth!’” * The final phrase of Wesley’s prayer is, in essence, a sacred oath in God’s presence, a promise to God that you are determined to live out what you have just prayed.
God, Lord of my life, by the Holy Spirit’s presence give me the power to live out this prayer every day of my life. Give me the seriousness of purpose that can produce your overflowing love and joy expressed toward everyone my life touches. Amen.
For Christmas, my sons got a set of Choose Your Own Adventure books. At the end of each page, the reader is given a choice of how to proceed with the presented dilemma. The choice determines which page you flip to next, and then determines how your version of the story ends. I was aware of the concept but I had no idea quite how intense the consequences are. In our first attempt, our family chose to pull over on the side of the road for a rest during a street race in Nairobi and our car was stolen. The book ended there! One wrong step and we had failed the mission.
As we embrace the beginning of a new year, we are granted yet another opportunity to commit to seeking God’s will in the many choices we will be given. I hope that you will delight in choosing things like unconditional love, justice, and peace. If, at some point, you find that you’ve made a choice you regret, be reassured that you won’t find the end of your story but rather the offer of forgiveness and new life. Enjoy the adventure!
* Folmsbee, Chris, The Wesley Prayer Challenge Participant Book (p. 137). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.