The covenant service, often celebrated on the first Sunday of the year, is at the heart of Methodists' devotion and discipleship, and their dedication in working for social justice.

 

What God offers is a loving relationship. The Covenant is not a contract in which God and human beings agree to provide particular goods and services for each other! It is not something that we have to do to create a relationship with God. God has freely and graciously already made it possible.

 

Rather, the Covenant is the means of grace by which we accept the relationship and then seek to sustain it.

 

It is therefore not so much about getting in to a relationship with God as it is about staying in it.

 

It is not about acquiring a relationship with God, but living within the loving relationship that God has already offered us.

 

The centre of the Service is this prayer, in which we all reaffirm that we accept God's offer, and pledge ourselves to follow God's call.

 

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.

Amen.

 

** The traditional words "put me to suffering" do not mean God makes us suffer. They're used in the original sense of us asking God to decide for us. 

For more about this service, please follow this link .