In today’s first reading from Genesis 17, we see a watershed moment in salvation history. Abram has his name changed to Abraham, and God makes a covenant with him. And in the Gospel reading, Jesus says, “Before Abraham came to be, I AM.” In saying this, He intimated to the people that He was the maker of that covenant with Abraham.
In our society today, we tend to think in terms of contract, not covenant. Many people look at marriage as a contractual agreement. But it isn’t. Marriage is a covenant. And a covenant is way different than a contract. A contract is for an exchange of goods and services. You do this for me, and I will give this to you. But a covenant is a mutual giving of persons. Listen to the covenant that God makes: “I will be your God and you shall be my people.” In essence, “I give myself to you, and you give yourself to me.”
We often think in terms of a contract with God, as well. "Okay, Lord, if I do more good stuff than bad in my life then you have to let me into heaven." That's so wrong-headed. We need more covenant thinking. "Lord, as you have given yourself freely and fully to me, I give myself freely and fully to you."
Father, we thank you for being our God. For always watching over us and giving yourself freely and fully to us. Help us today to give ourselves freely and completely to you. Amen.
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