Monday, 9 January 2017

Covenant

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.'
(Methodist Covenant Prayer)

Contemplating this prayer, I was struck by the line that was, for me, most difficult to pray.
It wasn't "put me to suffering".
It wasn't "let me be empty" or "let me have nothing". Not even "(let me) be brought low for you".
It was (let me be) laid aside for you.
I don't want to be laid aside.
I have lots to offer, lots to do. How can I accept being laid aside? What would be the learning in that?
I know my identity is in Christ.
I know I have no need to give or to achieve to be considered beloved of God.
But laid aside?
I'm not sure I'm ready to go there...
I can offer this prayer "whole heartedly" except for that.
But, now that I've said it out loud ...

So - what would be the deal-breaker for you in this prayer?

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