Practicing the Better: Covenant Goodness

The Covenant continues the light, life and love set down in the creation, with sabbath being a key means for sustaining all three things in our lives.

Light–Israel was to receive God’s light and to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6). This was through righteousness–the character and conduct within and beyond the nation that dispells the darkness of empire with the light of shalom.

Life–Israel was to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19-21). This was through justice–the intention of insuring that everyone had what they needed in order to live with dignity and equality as one human family.

Love–Israel was to be loved and to love (Deuteronomy 6:4, Leviticus 19:18).  This was through the love of God and neighbor–the heart and core (grand summation) of the Covenant message.

We will soon move into the New Covenant in our exploration of the practice of the better, but the “newness” is not that of displacing the first Covenant, but rather fulfilling it. As we will see, the practice of the better (begun in creation and Covenant) continues to unfold and mature in the New Covenant, which itself carries us on to the “new creation” and the union of all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10).

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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