Covenant & Community
In the Old Testament of the Bible God made a covenant with us, His people. The covenant is a promise of redemption, made complete by Jesus, He chose to establish through “the flesh” of Abraham, but is meant for all His people, not just Abraham (Genesis 17:13). “I will be your God and you will be my people,” occurs over and again in the Biblical text. God would often use one individual to mediate a covenant, such as people like Noah & Abraham, but it was always about His people not just one person. It’s shear brilliance to covenant with His people as a whole, rather than the individual, that way God’s covenant is about community, which is just one aspect of His convenant. I am deeply passionate about living closely alongside others. I invite those I love most to walk along side the most deep parts of my life and I am in theirs. We were not designed to live alone, otherwise loneliness wouldn’t exist. He did not create us to be without Him or others. And I think it is the most perfect plan.
Therefore, this picture above indicates, for me, one aspect of what community looks like–outright hysteria. Here, Jon Nobrega, one of my dear friends, is telling one of the most funny and ridiculous stories I have ever heard, and that is NOT an understatement.
Here are some great words regarding covenant & community from the book Far As The Curse Is Found: The Covenant Story Of Redemption by Michael D. Williams.
It is crucial to note that the covenant formula envisions a community, not an individual. God’s redemptive relationship is always with a people. . . it is the group, rather than the isolated individual, that is center stage in the covenant. The fundamental unity of Hebrew society was the group, not the individual as in the modern West. Modern man starts with the rights of the individual. The Bible does not. God always addresses his word to a people. That word applies to individual persons insofar as they are part of the group. Biblical religion always involves a covenantal relationship between God and the covenant community.
What God promises to His people is his presence. His dwelling with them will characterize the life of Israel. Thus what God seeks, in his redemption of a covenant people, is the kind of relationship that he had with Adam before the fall, when God walked in the Garden in the cool of the day and talked with man. This goal never leaves the biblical story.
And we are not outside of the biblical story.