John 12:24 “Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Yesterday I was watching Pastor Danny Silk’s Leadership 101 online class about “Covenant Purpose.” In old testament times, a covenant was a binding agreement that required death. To seal a covenant, two people would cut an animal in half and walk through it, signifying that “I am willing to pass through death with you.”
The problem these days is that people enter into a covenant relationship without that commitment. Usually, the attitude is more like “I’ll sacrifice for you, but only if you sacrifice for me first” or “I definitely will help you but only if it doesn’t inconvenience me too much.” At this point Pastor Danny looked straight at the camera and asked “who would you die for? And who would die for you?”
With my dad’s recent diagnosis, Elaine suggested that I might need to donate part of my liver at some point for him. Without hesitation, I replied, “of course I’d do that.” I would gladly risk my life for his. After some reflection this morning, I can honestly say I’d do the same for people in my church community, and I think quite a number would do the same for me. Pastor Danny talked about how coming into that kind of community at Bethel Church has been totally transformational for him, and I can say the same has been true for me.
Lord, thank you for modeling what true covenant means. We are made in your image and designed to live in covenant with those around us. I know that over time you desire for me to expand this expression to a wider set of people, to be willing to die for more of your children. I only want what you want. Please give me the strength to live more like Jesus. In your son’s name, Amen.