March 29th, 2007
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
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God’s covenant with us began like a legal transaction between
two parties. But unlike most transactions made between two parties,
this everlasting pact gets renewed with each new generation. One
of the parties, namely God, never changes and never dies. God is
always God. The other parties in the covenant, the children of Abraham,
do die. And over the generations we have even become very different
people. Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all the children of Abraham.
And we all share the covenant God made with Abraham’s descendants
to be our God. Our part in this covenant is to keep God’s
I mourn each of the deaths as members of my own family, but as a Christian, I take comfort in believing that Jesus personally atoned for all of these deaths. Our covenant with God is not about ever tasting death, but about the triumph of life over death. Jesus’ death keeps God’s covenant with us alive even when the descendants of Abraham, including me, don’t do our part. Even when we don’t keep the Word of God, God keeps God’s word. This season of spiritual renewal is a time for me to acknowledge my responsibility to honor that covenant because God is still active in the deal. That is difficult for many of us to accept and hold on to when we suffer the deaths of loved ones to the tragedy of war. But in the midst of this despair, God remembers his covenant with us. It is a living covenant that is just as alive and binding for us today as it was the day it was entered into with Abraham. We can do our part in renewing this covenant by working for peace.
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