The season of Lent is a time of spiritual preparation—a time to ready ourselves to hear again the story of our redemption and salvation through the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Of the many things remembered during Holy Week, we recall Jesus gathering for a holiday meal with his friends, and after supper taking a cup and saying “drink from this, all of you, this cup is a new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for many.” These words are familiar to Christians because they are at the center of the ritual we share whenever we celebrate Holy Communion. However, the covenant can only be understood as “new” if we understand there have been other covenants…other expressions of divine love and grace.
In fact, the origin of gospel (good news) we tell today is rooted in God’s work in Genesis, and threaded through story after story and episode after episode of what is sometimes called the “Old Testament.” The whole length of scripture reveals a portrait of the way God speaks, thinks, and acts in all manners of circumstance; it is a portrait of the utter faithfulness and love of Creator for the creature. One aspect of that portrait reveals that the God of scriptures is a God who makes covenant with creation, and with nations, and with people. It is a gospel story of God’s relentless pursuit of us…a story that begins in Genesis and is still unfolding today.