by Tony Nester

Renewing Covenant
Tony Nester
Exodus 34:1-10

Did you get "do over's" when you were a child? That's when you make a mistake in a game or in some task and then whoever is in charge lets you do it over and gives you a chance to make it right. How about if you mess up at work? Have you ever been given a "do over" by a boss who lets you go at it again to make up for the mistakes you made the first time?

In Canada some folks are trying to establish a national "Do Over Day" each year on February 26th. The purpose is to encourage all Canadians to revisit or repair the significant moments of their lives. Here's the official "Do Over Day" T-shirt (project slide).

I know some marriages that could use a do over. Mistakes have been made. Vows have been broken. Walls have been built up and defended. It's time for a do over to own up to mistakes, renew the vows, take down the walls. ]

Do you think a church could have a do over? Churches are just like families. Mistakes are made in every church. Promises get broken. Relationships are strained, sometimes severed. A congregation can lose touch with the best of its tradition and lose sight of its purpose for the future. Any church can become spiritually lost.

Would God let a church have a do over? Today's Scripture from Exodus 34 gives the answer and the answer is "Yes — you can have a do over."

If you were here last week you may recall that we saw God's people, the Israelites, fall into a great sin. They made an idol — a golden calf — and set it up to lead them in place of God.

Moses was so angry with the people that he broke the tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments. Breaking those tablets was Moses' way of declaring that the people had broken their covenant with God.

And now in Exodus, Chapter 34, God gives the Israelites that chance. It's a do over. Listen to verse one again:

(Exodus 34:1 NRSV) "The LORD said to Moses, "Cut two tablets of stone like the former ...

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