When Ken and I got married, part of our wedding ceremony was communion. I recited the Hebrew blessing over the bread and grape juice. Well, when I get nervous my mouth gets dry, and I was very nervous that night. And I didn’t think about drinking some water before the ceremony.
I was too focused on not tripping when we were walking down the aisle. So, when it came time to do the blessing, I took the grape juice, and it hit my dry throat, and I choked on it, and almost was not able to finish! It would not have been good to ask someone to bring me a glass of water right in the middle of the ceremony. It was a tense moment with a long silence, everyone wondering what I was doing! But I pulled it out and was able to finish and say “I do.”
Recently, I had a conflict with my pastor. We have been in our church over 8 years. This issue has built over time. The last thing that happened was very difficult for me to handle. It just seemed like there was no way we could resolve this. I had a great deal of respect for him, but I had difficulty handling his response to me. I couldn’t seem to help myself. And the last episode just seemed impossible to resolve. My first instinct was to just leave. I didn’t feel I could submit to him anymore. And I did not want to be in rebellion to his pastoral authority. But after consideration, talking it over with Ken, and asking God, we felt the best way to handle it was to ask for a meeting to try to work through it.
I remember my friend, Asher, teaching me about covenant and how important it is in the body of Messiah. He taught me about what real love is, that it is believing the best of others, and thinking of others higher than yourself, of not insisting on your own way. I remember reading in his book Covenant Relationships where he talked about the early days of the Messianic Jewish ministry, working through so many different issues. But in the end, it was worth it, to achieve what God wanted.
So we did have the meeting with the pastor, his wife, and the Church board. It was very hard, and I was very nervous, but I was able to share my perspective of what had happened. And I also was able to help him see why I was reacting to him in a certain way when he approached me in the way he did. One of the board was able to offer some constructive correction to me for a better way to handle something. And my pastor and his wife were so gracious and loving to me. They exemplified the way Jesus would have responded to me.
The end result was a resolution of a relationship with my pastor, and we are still at the church, which is what we believe was what God wanted.
To me, it was an example of covenant relationships in action. In our society of quick and easy, staying and working through issues is not the easiest thing to do. But I believe it is what brings us maturity in Jesus, and advances the Kingdom of God.
So my experience at my wedding made me think about this situation.
Sometimes we “choke” on the covenant, and don’t know what to do next, but if we seek God’s will, we will reach a resolution.