Immersed in Christ: Monday, August 2, 2021
Revisiting the Covenant
It is true that every sin is an individual act of free choice, involving individual, personal guilt. But it can be argued that this is not the predominant view- point in Scripture.
We tend to forget that the Ten Commandments were not given to us as individuals, but to a people— who by accepting them became the People of God (Exodus 1:1—20:17; 24:1–8). To observe the Commandments was to keep the Covenant. It was not just religion; it was the most basic, important act of patriotism. The common good of the community depended on everyone’s keeping up the People’s end of the bargain. And thus, we have the communal dimension of confession: it is always an act of reconciliation with the community. The individual is reconciled into the harmony of the community, and the community is restored by the reconciliation. That is why those who sinned were accountable to the whole community. By breaking the Covenant they endangered the promise that was the common good of all. They put the whole People in the way of disaster.