Thursday, 2 February 2017

Te Tiriti O Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi has caused many tears and much grief. Yet Te Tiriti O Waitangi is also a cause for gratitude and great hope. Here as a founding document of our nation, we have a covenant agreement that speaks of a strong desire for unity with one another and with our God. This is the cry, the call, and the challenge inherent in the voice of our ancestors. Their voice comes to us from days of old when our nation came to birth. 

There is another voice that comes to us which is yet older still, the voice of God, the Ancient of Days. Our ancestors echo God’s voice who calls us all to unity through the commitment of a covenant relationship. God says, ‘I will take you as my own people and I will be your God’ (Ex 6:7). That sounds like marriage vows to me – a covenant, a promise, a treaty.

I have been to four weddings this summer. My friend Cindy and I wrote a song for one of them:

Here we stand before you Lord
surrendering to your call. 
Your faithfulness we will declare
throughout this life that we now share.
Hallelujah, hallelujah/

You, our God, have made us one.
Forever we are bound in your love.
We give to you our lives of praise
bringing glory to your name. 

When we face great loss and grief
with heavy hearts and tear stained cheek's
O God, our help, to you we'll cling. 
Held by mercy, we will sing. 
Hallelujah, hallelujah

You, our God, have made us one...

As we follow you, Jesus
may your grace be at work in us. 
By your Spirit and your word
we will proclaim the truth we've heard. 
Hallelujah, hallelujah. 

You, our God, have made us one...  

May we as a nation by bound together in love and unity, remaining faithful to our covenant promises. Let us lift our voices as we join with our ancestors in the cry, the call, and the challenge to live in unity with God and with one another.

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