Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant tells the story of an American soldier, John Kinley, and his Afghan interpreter, Ahmed. The sole survivors of an ambush deep inside Taliban territory they must run for their lives, and when Kinley is wounded Ahmed faces a gruelling and perilous journey to get him to safety. But with Kinley now safe and airlifted home, the Taliban put a price on Ahmed’s life, and he goes into hiding. The story might end there but now the covenant of the title comes into play. In return for his services as an interpreter Ahmed has been promised a visa and a new life in the US, and Kinley won’t rest until he’s fulfilled his side of the deal.
While fictitious the story reminds us of the compelling power of covenants which bind two parties together, not by impersonal contract but deep bonds of love. Such is the covenant that lies at the heart of the Bible’s depiction of the relationship God wants with us. He gives all of himself to us, promising blessing and eternal life, if we will respond by giving all of ourselves to him. The extent of his commitment is revealed by Jesus dying on a cross, and ours by offering ourselves as living sacrifices, wholly devoted to him.