Covenant of Church of the Sojourners
By this statement we express our covenant with one another under the lordship of Jesus Christ. We remember that we are a chosen people. That is, we did not choose God, but God chose us in Christ. Nor did we choose each other; rather he chose us and gathered us together to serve him.The covenant God made with all his people thousands of years ago encompasses and surpasses the covenant we now make with each other. And we remember that God covenanted with us, not because of any merits of ours, or because we are great in number or gifts, but rather he chose us to be his own people because he loves us. So we know that we are in the hands of our loving father and that therefore all will be well.
Therefore we affirm our status as extranjeros in this land. Yet we are not people without citizenship; rather our citizenship is in another country, one whose monarch is Christ, the servant king. We pledge our allegiance only to that king. We do not have a bill of rights that claims life for ourselves but rather a calling to live as our king lived. Though he was God, he made himself nothing and became a slave. We forgive when we are sinned against and accept the pain it causes, knowing that we too are sinners.
We pledge faithfulness to God’s economy: that economy where authority is revealed in servanthood and loves its way rather than forces its way. An economy where strength is shown in weakness. Where the poor are blessed and the rich are made low. Where God chooses the weak and powerless to be his royalty in order to demonstrate his glory. An economy that is foolishness to the world around us. We do not struggle to satisfy our own needs but to give ourselves away because we are fully supplied by God. Not needing to find ourselves through self-realization, we are confident of our worth and importance as irreplaceable parts of Christ’s body.
Not claiming control of our individual lives and decisions, we offer them to you. Determined to seek first Christ’s kingdom, we seek to order our lives by its values and submit to his lordship through this local expression of his body, believing that in that way we will together arrive at the full stature of Christ. It is our desire to live out life in listening response to Christ’s call. Where he calls us to love one another, we shall do so, learning from him and from each other the art of loving. Where he calls us to servanthood, we shall humbly offer ourselves. Where he urges us to become holy as he is holy, we will abandon false pursuits of the world and will receive thankfully the correction of our sister or brother.
We affirm that our confession of Christ means that we will live out our discipleship in union with others, that together we are one expression of his body, that the church is God’s tool for accomplishing his objective in the world. Together, we wish to be a light to the world showing his love and calling others to join his people.
Because of this and my desire to grow into true servanthood, recognizing that light is discovered only when I choose not to claim life for myself, I give my life away, no longer living for me but living for you, loving you, shepherding you, living with you. I have abandoned my destiny to the Lord. I affirm that his Spirit works through his people. Short of a violation of my conscience, I will defer to the voice of this church and its gifts as it speaks to my life. I trust that you will honor me as part of your family and will not take my offering lightly.
Now, then, we are one body. We are born of one Spirit and seek our strength from one source. We shall be together for as long as God allows. We rejoice in our unity, a gift of our Father. And we go forth, together, in his service.