I've always had a soft spot for things Scottish. I mean, my name is Scott after all. And last night I went to the theater to see the introduction of the newest Doctor Who, who happens to be Scottish (a fact which led to some great humor throughout the episode). But I digress....
I love reading about the history of the Reformation in Scotland, and the folks known as the Scottish Covenanters. Coming on the tail end of all that was a Scottish minister named Ebenezer Erskine. Not the most well known preacher in history, although he does have a few statues in his honor. However, early on in life, he wasn't much of a minister at all.
Though he gave his life to service in the church, his own faith was dried up. His messages were given without much conviction. It was more of a job than a calling. Fortunately, his wife had a different heart. She was passionate in her relationship with Christ, and prayed for her husband. Unfortunately, it took the near death of that fine woman to get Ebenezer's attention.
Following a severe illness which almost took her life, Ebenezer and his wife had some serious discussions about faith, and recalling some of the biblical truths that had led him as a child to seek this profession to begin with, Erskine finally came to a true and saving relationship with Christ. In fact, it was on this date, August 26 in the year 1708 that his conversion took place.
Being Scottish and all, and coming within a few decades after those Scottish Covenanters, Erskine decided to mark his conversion with a "covenant." These are his words: "I offer myself up, soul and body, unto God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I flee for shelter to the blood of Jesus. I will live to Him; I will die to Him. I take heaven and earth to witness that all I am and all I have are His."
Not so bad, huh? I know we have to be careful to not just parrot the words of others. I don't want to use something like this as some do a "sinner's prayer" where if you repeat after me you will get your ticket to heaven. And yet, I think these words would not be so bad on a plaque somewhere in my office. Just as a reminder of what is at the core of my faith, what is at the core of my commitment, at the core of my calling. In all, it wouldn't be bad to "sign on" to a covenant statement like this one.