A critical element in building a covenant community is ditching the goal-oriented thinking.
Thinking in terms of a concrete goal and efficiency is what turned mainstream Christian religion into a huge conversion machine. Mainstream evangelism is little more than manipulation; it’s designed to persuade your mind to make a decision. It’s just a sales pitch. And we have millions of folks who think they are going to Heaven when they die, but that may not happen.
Going to Heaven is not a matter of changing your mind. I’ve said this before: It rests entirely on God’s initiative. He promised that it would never make sense to us, but that He was quite willing to explain what went along with it. In other words, the business of going to Heaven is wholly inexplicable, but living by His divine moral character is well within reach.
A covenant community means an inexplicable communion with Creation around us because we realize that we become a part of it. It’s joy unspeakable and full of glory, because we have moved the center of our awareness from our heads and into our hearts. Instead of reasoning our way through things, we wait first until our convictions speak of what God really wants, and then we use our reason to make it happen as best we know.
A covenant community is people who, when they walk out the door, the birds and flowers and trees — the wind itself — sings with their own hearts about the glories of God. We enjoy this world because we know it as a friend. Even our bodies talk to us in new ways because it’s all part of the same Creation. And we find this communion so lovely that we long to share it with other people if they will only choose to discover it. But the only way they can choose it is to first see it in us. It has to be consistent in all of us together; it has to be a recognizable characteristic that we all share.
A covenant community means we all agree together voluntarily to use Biblical Law as our guide, to help our minds grasp what to expect from the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It means learning to become a mystic, someone who doesn’t trust reason to establish policy, but to obey the revealed guidelines hinted at in the Law Covenants. We embrace the covenant as a living thing in itself, far more than mere law, yet clearly tied to Law as the expression of God’s character. We seek to be His children, naturally doing our best to live out the implications of what it means to be family.
People don’t join our religion; they share with us the joy of being family. Something inside of them aches longingly to be a part of what we have. We cannot awaken it any other way but to demonstrate. They have to see the power by which Creation itself bends to join in our drive to Christ’s glory.
It’s not a goal; it’s a song we sing daily until He calls us home.