Over the years I have found John Wesley's Covenant Renewal Service meaningful and rewarding. Though I have not always been faithful to its practice, I have discovered the material challenging in terms of vocation and identity as a pastor and disciple. We certainly cannot separate vocation and identity, of course, but we can prepare to take seriously the need to commit ourselves to God, reflecting on our calling as Jesus' followers. The Renewal Service offers the opportunity for us to renew our commitment to Christ and to pray together the Covenant Prayer:
Let me be your servant, O Christ, under your command.
I will no longer be my own.
I will give up myself to your will in all things.
Lord, make me what you will.
I put myself fully into your hands:
put me to doing, put me to suffering,
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and with a willing heart give it all to your please and disposal.
O mighty God, the Lord Omnipotent, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you have now become my Covenant Friend.
And I, through your infinte grace, have become your covenant servant.
So be it.
And let the covenant I have made on earth be ratified in heaven.
There is, of course, more to the whole Covenant Service. Over the years the service has gone through multiple changes. However, the above Prayer is indicative of what is at stake. And I can only pray that more clergy and laity would truly pray this prayer with all their hearts, souls, and minds, allowing the Spirit to cleanse and convict within, that our common practice as Christians would visibly reflect the glory and love God in the world.
So be it.