Thomas Daniel: The Right Kind of Busy

As summer quickly winds down, I am getting so excited for fall at Covenant! Hopefully,the past few months have enabled you to slow down and recharge your batteries. Now, when things speed up again, I wonder how God wants us to faithfully approach the coming days. Will we be busy with the right things? Will we be busy with the things that help shape and form each of us and our families into people of joy and hope … or will we once again settle for being busy, frantic and hurried? As people of faith, it is critical that we say “yes” to the right things and “no” to others. What will this look like for you?

In our sermon series “Formed,” which starts Aug. 20, we will ask these questions. How does God form and shape us, and how do we prioritize our calendars for God’s work to happen? In Luke 6, we see that Jesus actively engages in three distinct practices. The text says that He first seeks solitude. In verse 12, Jesus goes up to a mountain to pray alone and be with God. This practice is essential for Jesus, and for each of us, to know that we are God’s beloved children. There is no other way that this identity is created in His people. Therefore we will invite our entire community into deliberate practices of solitude and prayer. One example of this is a half-day silent retreat on Saturday, Dec. 9. (More information coming this fall.)

After spending time alone with God, Luke 6:13 13 finds Jesus returning to the community of disciples and choosing 12 among them who will serve as His apostles. These are the primary individuals with whom Jesus will spend time over the coming years of ministry. It is clear that each and every one of our lives needs to be shaped and formed in deliberate community. Covenant offers many avenues to explore community and we hope everyone will take seriously the invitation to invest in others. A primary opportunity for this is our small group ministry. Over the past 18 months, Covenant Groups have exploded and we are so excited about what God is doing in these pockets of community. Our hope is that if you are not yet deeply involved in the lives of others here at Covenant, you will strongly consider joining a Covenant Group. There are opportunities for individuals or couples to participate. Visit covenant.org/covenantgroups or contact Kathryn Sedberry (ksedberry@covenant.org) to ask questions and sign up.
Finally, in Luke 6:17, Jesus and His disciples engage in service to those around them who are sick and hurting. We must not just be consumers of Christ, we must also participate in His mission in the world. So much is broken in our families, friends, city, nation and world and we cannot ignore the call to get involved. Acts of service change the lives of those around us; often we ourselves are changed even more. One opportunity to do this is during Shaped to Serve, our annual day of service, on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Many of our fall activities are organized around opportunities for you to be formed in each of these three practices, and all are essential to becoming the men and women that God intends. My hope and prayer is that this fall, your calendar gets busy with the right things. God wants to use these coming days to form you and your family. Will you say “yes” to this invitation?

Joyfully,

Thomas