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Culture Making with God | The Gospel in Covenant

The LORD had said to Abram,

‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him …

Genesis 12:1–4a

As we journey into the wasteland with Jesus this Lent, we’re letting go of the dead-end of sin-management, which plagued Israel from stumbling around Sinai’s desert to painful exile on foreign soil. As we stumble onward rejoicing to the cross this Easter, let’s embrace the whole-life gospel of God’s reign. We’re invited by grace to join his mission of making all things new.

With the story behind us of gloriously making and then tragically breaking culture, the heavenly host look on, gobsmacked to see God’s way of repairing the fabric of faithfulness …

Covenant is the story of Israel seeking culture. Our God chose the few to liberate the many. Abraham’s children were established as a light to the nations; their systems set them apart and were built to follow the grain of the cosmos, operating according to God’s law. Through wilderness wandering, they learned obedience to the way of wisdom. When practised, character grew, producing corporate flourishing.

This is wisdom work: walking in life’s patterns. As Creator, he sets the bounds within which things work best – a covenant where you don’t need to fear the slavery, lies, murder, and family breakup that result when idolatry, blasphemy, coveting, and overwork are king. We’re called to tabernacle in the Lord’s presence, and bless others from this portable tent. To travel light and respond quickly to the righteous decrees of the one true God. But this blessing wasn’t merely for them; it was through them, as Israel walked distinctively alongside their neighbours as a virtuous people serving the shalom of all. Imitating our Father, we’re commanded: ‘Go and model godly character!’

Amidst the cacophony of pundits peddling good advice, God pledges exodus to a promised land. He reveals the path to life and guides us every step. That’s good news!

How, then, is our Lord shaping us to live well, seeking wisdom wherever it may be found and partnering for the common good? Journeying with a community of character, let’s ask God for the way to flourishing on our frontlines. Following the Great ‘I Am’, we can inform systems that bless rather than curse societies and the spaces we inhabit, making a difference as the scattered children of God every moment of the week. For this is the gospel at work in covenant – a story to live and share this Lenten season.

Dave Benson
Culture & Discipleship Director, LICC

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