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  • Rev. Sammie Maxwell

Wesley Covenant

The First Sunday Morning Worship of the Year John Wesley’s justification for having this particular service can be found in the Bible in Deuteronomy 26:17-18 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. He led the first of these Methodist covenant services on August 11, 1755. While the service borrowed extensively from the works of Richard Allein, a Puritan pastor, it has very much the Wesleyan feel to it. The Covenant Service has become a regular part of United Methodist worship. The heart of the service can be found in the United Methodist hymnal today on page 607. It reads as follows: I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt; rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low by thee. Let me be full; let me be empty. Let me have all things. Let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. Wesley led this particular service each time he visited a Methodist Society. In the later years of his life, the service was held on New Year’s Day or a Sunday early in the year. He found the service to be extremely rich and meaningful. His journal entry dated January 1, 1755, reflects the service’s power: “It was an occasion for a variety of spiritual experiences . . . . I do not know that ever we had a greater blessing. Afterward many desired to return thanks, either for a sense of pardon, for full salvation, or for a fresh manifestation of God’s graces, healing all their backslidings.” In other places, Wesley urges “the wholly giving up of ourselves to God and renewing every part of our covenant that the Lord should be our God. On Sunday, January 1st, we will renew or establish our covenant with God. The service following the Invitation is taken from Wesley’s service of 1780. It can be an extremely powerful experience and an important way to begin the New Year. The above are words that no one can say on your behalf and no one can keep on your behalf. Only you can live your own life, and only 3 you can make your own commitments. Please prepare for this service by prayerfully considering the words in the covenant and through reading the Scriptures. May we all grow spiritually and enjoy God’s blessings to the fullest in 2023! Blessings and Happy New Year Pastor Sammie JANUARY LECTIONARY READINGS January 1 Epiphany Sunday Isaiah 63:7-9 Hebrews 2:10-18 Matthew 2:13-23 Sermon Title- “Different Way Back” January 8th Epiphany of the Lord Isaiah 60:1-6 Ephesians 3:1-12 Matthew 2:1-12 Sermon Title-“For All The World” January 15 2nd Sunday After the Epiphany Isaiah 49:1-7 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 John 1:29-42 Scripture For the Day: Luke 2:41-52 Sermon Title- “A Boys Mouth and a Parent’s Heart” January 22 3rd Sunday After the Epiphany Isaiah 9:1 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Matthew 4:12-23 Sermon Title- “Jesus Preaches Repentance” January 29 Micah 6:1-8 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

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