Covenant unity and differences

The idea of Covenant is like a relationship.
When we talk about the old and new covenant it is not that God ended his relationship with the Jews and started a new one with the Church, as if someone left one friend behind to take on a new friend. The relationship is the same but the matter in which it is carried out or maintained has changed. Like long distance dating, two people begin the relationship via the internet (what used to be mail) they write back and forth. Certain ethics or rules are expected to be maintained while dating one person although it is long distance. If the two finally meet and marry, we say things are new. Not that either has taken on a person but that the dynamic of the relationship has changed. They would not write each other when they can now talk face to face. Instead of talking about places and movies they can go take in a movie together and maybe dinner. The relationship has become more intimate, and in doing so the intensity and day to day activities of the relationship have clarified and expounded. Now that the new relationship is established the old is not forgotten or tossed aside totally. The emails (or letters) are kept and cherished as how the relationship started in the first place. The things said and done for one another when at a distance and yet still joined together still have their place even if those same long-distance activities are no longer part of the closer relationship. It’s a sappy illustration but I think a helpful one. With God the old and new testaments are not about two totally separate groups of people, but how God manifests Himself at somewhat of a distance and then up close in the person of Jesus His son. The dynamic of waiting for Christ is different than having him in front of us as a person. The relationship of faith did not go away, but changed from types and shadows to a fulfilling and fleshed out person. The illustration is sometimes used of a gardener having a different administration over his/her garden. In the planting stage, it just looks like digging in the dirt and hiding seeds. Yet when contrasted with the everyday growth and watering, it seems like two totally different activities, but the relationship to the garden is the same.


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