Featured Playlist: Courageous (Anti-Racism)
Grow and deepen your faith with curated playlists by reading, watching, listening, praying, wondering and doing. These playlists connect with the current worship theme. You can easily tuck them into the rhythm and rhyme of your own life.
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Read and Discuss: John Wesley on Salvation
Sanctification or Christian Perfection. One of the most distinctly Wesleyan ideas is that Christian perfection ought to be strived for in this life and can be attained (received is a more accurate way to think of it than a religious state we can achieve). One way to state what John Wesley was espousing is taking seriously Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” And in Leviticus 11:45, where God commands the people, “you shall be holy, for I am holy.” John Wesley believed that the power of grace is stronger than the power of sin. If Christians would seek to grow in holiness and love, Christian maturity would blossom into a perfection of love. Read the following excerpt from John Wesley’s “Brief Thoughts on Christian Perfection” and then discuss the follow-up question:
By perfection I mean the humble, gentle, patient love of God and our neighbor, ruling our habits, attitudes, words, and actions . . . As to the manner, I believe that this perfection is always accomplished in the soul by a simple act of faith, consequently in an instant. But I believe a gradual work both precedes and follows that instant . . . I believe that [Christian perfection] is usually within five years or five months after justification. I know of no conclusive argument to the contrary. If it must be many years after justification, I would be glad to know how many.
(A Perfect Love: Understanding John Wesley’s A Plain Account of Christian Perfection by Steven Manskar. Discipleship Resources: Nashville, 2003, 87).
How are you striving for Christian perfection?
Prayer: You are not removed from our pain and suffering. Because of Jesus’ crucifixion we know you can empathize with our weakness, struggles, and pain. Because of Jesus’ life, we see what true humanity empty of self-glorification looks like as well as full trust in the power of the Holy Spirit send by the Father. This Holy Week, may we have the eyes to see the suffering and joy of your creatures and be able to give you praise in the middle of it. Amen.
LEARN: Social Justice
Listen: Take My Life and Let It Be
Another hymn in F. Richard Garland's series of hymns based upon Paul's letter to the Philippians, the text through the link below is inspired by Philippians 2:1-13. As a wonderful climax to this hymn, Garland includes the following acclamation: "You are beloved! A child of God, destined to be at home with God!"