We have just celebrated and observed the 242nd Birthday of America, in which many spoke of the country winning its freedom from tyranny and oppression.

Yet, we all know that as much as we love our country, not everyone experienced freedom from tyranny and oppression with the signing of “The Declaration of Independence” in 1776 or ratification of “The Constitution” and “Bill of Rights.” Abolition of slavery, child labor laws, women’s right to vote, marriage equality, voting rights laws for all citizens are just a few of those things not addressed at the birth of our nation. Furthermore, we know that the letter of the law means nothing if we as a people don’t live into the spirit of the Law.

The same can be said of scripture. The scriptures say in Micah 6:8, “And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before your God.” Yet, there are many in the communities we serve not living free from the tyranny and oppression of those who claim to be followers of Christ. Misuse or erroneously interpreted scripture is used to justify their prejudices, judgmentalism and condemnation of others. Such actions are the total opposite of Christ’s command to “love God and love others.”

At Covenant, we believe we are called to help our communities experience the freedom of living life fully, wholly, and exactly as God created them and intended for them. That’s why Covenant’s vision is “We are an inclusive community of faith – Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy.”

From time to time we need to be reminded of how and why our Vision is still relevant for these times in which we live. So, I invite you to join us at worship at Covenant for the next 3 Sundays as I preach a 3-part sermon series on Covenant’s vision. This Sunday the sermon will be “Part 1: The Vision is Offering Hope” based on Mark 6:1-5.