Why “beautiful covenant chaos” you ask?
The short story- it captures the nature of my relationship with Christ, as a redeemed yet struggling human being. The path of holiness is a beautiful covenant relationship with Jesus, yet when I let my human nature try to call all the shots to the exclusion of God, PURE CHAOS. So I wrestle daily with the paradox of beautiful covenant chaos.
The long story-
After several years as clergy, I finally officiated my first wedding. (Most of my colleagues are sighing “lucky!”) Throughout all the counseling and conversations with the couple, we kept coming back to the word covenant. When you ask a pastor to preside, your asking them to witness your covenant. When you pray during the ceremony, you’re asking God to affirm and bless your covenant. When you commit to one another, you’re having the guests pray for and support your covenant. And it’s a beautiful thing to behold.
On the day of the wedding, I arrived around 2 PM at the un-air conditioned church in the middle of July. The wedding party was beautiful, the bride was glowing, and the humidity was rising. Then, 15 minutes before the ceremony, the power went out. We all breathed a sigh of relief as it returned, I gave instructions to the congregation if it would happen mid-ceremony, and we all moved on. A few minutes later, it happened again. If a wedding day without air conditioning isn’t never-wracking enough, try panicking with the storm outside and the power out inside, as you hope you can actually see your future spouse at the altar.
From my perspective, I was selfishly freaking out, about leading everyone through the possible crisis while overheating in my robe and hoping we made it through fast enough for me to return home to nurse my 4-month-old daughter.
So I gathered my courage, reassured the bridal party, and gathered everyone for prayer. And when we finally made it up to the altar, would you believe it- the power not only stayed on the whole time, but the ceremony was beautiful and hilarious and a perfect day for the couple. God drew out of the chaos a beautiful covenant. And that phrase just echoed in my head as the two vowed their life and their love to one another. In fact, I might have tweeted it when I returned to my car later that day (cause I’m a millennial and that’s what we do).
What God’s covenant offers us in the midst of chaos is something unexpectedly and completely beautiful. Praise be to the Lord!