The eerie honking of wild geese grew louder and more distinct that early morning. The sea’s still surface merged seamlessly into pale sky. Standing on the dock at Crescent Beach we felt surrounded by the vast spaces above and below us. The honking increased causing us to turn toward the sound. Like deer caught in the grip of car headlights we froze as dozens of geese in one perfect v-formation surged toward us, flying only meters above our heads. Their passing left us breathless. The honking faded and then subsided as the body moved along on its essential autumn journey. We felt like we had witnessed a covenant between God and His creatures in that aerial display.
Like that instinctive law of nature that directs geese on their seasonal journeys, God has laws to which we are bound. Beyond external laws of nature we find ourselves also responsible for moral laws—we must live in society with others, respecting them as we respect ourselves. Deeper still, are God’s laws of relationship with Him. Ancient Hebrew culture was founded on the law of Moses. Yet, even those laws were somehow external to the people. Generations had to be constantly reminded to do this or that, and to refrain from other things in order to fulfill God’s standards for right and wrong. It was an impossible task. No one can keep up a façade of obeying laws that are external to their natural bent. There needs to be a reconstruction of the human psyche, a transplant of sorts, a creation of instinct that gives people an internal compass.
Behold the new covenant. No more guilt-laden do’s and don’ts. No more ritual this or lip service that. Jesus says his life sacrifice is the ink in which this new covenant is written. It’s both costly and free. It’s not a contract of convenience, but a covenant of love—God loving us from the inside out.
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds” (Hebrews 10:16). Do we understand what this means? It means we are given a sort of instinct implant, a graft of God’s love onto our hearts and minds. . It’s not a contract of convenience, but a covenant of love—God loving us and us loving Him in return. It means we can finally be the authentic people God designed every one of us to be.
We’ve come about it the long way around. We’ve each of us rebelled against God’s rule, we’ve habitually fallen short of the mark and we’ve brought more suffering on ourselves than was necessary. We’ve injured our consciences, hardened our hearts, and forgotten how we were created to fly.
Now there is a tender covenant in which we are invited to partake. It only requires us saying yes to the new and no to the old. He knows what we need and He is waiting almost breathlessly for the nod from us to proceed. His love covenant will fill our hearts and minds, and lift us up off the ground.
“…Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:21).
So let’s embrace the new covenant. The old one was weary of trying to teach us to fly. We need hearts touched by the Father’s grace of forgiveness, the Son’s sacrifice and the Spirit’s loving presence to inspire us. Only then will we rise like wild geese and soar on wings like eagles. You are invited into the covenant. Are you ready to fly?