The following is the text from my bulletin insert. I am designing a series of weekly inserts to help me better explain the Wesleyan Way of Discipleship. You can download a pdf of this insert at the end of blog.
This week, you are encouraged to ask a church member the following:
Find someone and ask him,
“Tell me a time that someone helped you when you were in a difficult situation.”
This week we are moving outward on our concentric circles to the ring labeled: Acts of Mercy.
For Wesley, acts of mercy are those things that are done to alleviate pain and suffering in others. They could involve feeding people, clothing people, teaching people, providing housing for people or any other activity that made a positive impact in the life of another person.
As we enter into this ring for the next few weeks, I want us to begin by looking back at our own lives and to think about ways in which people have ministered to us. Has someone ever helped us out with a meal? Has anyone ever visited us when we were sick and in a hospital? Has anyone ever loaned us money when we were in a difficult financial strait? Has anyone ever given us a job when we desperately needed one? Has anyone ever helped us with a medical bill or gotten us to a doctor’s appointment? Has anyone ever provided us a place to stay when we were without a home? Has anyone ever done anything for us or with us that made our life easier or better?
These questions reflect the kinds of things that Wesley would call an act of mercy. Wesley would say that part of our Christian responsibility was to engage in these actions on a regular basis. He expected a people called Methodist to make a positive impact on the lives of people in their community.
I am glad that I can say that our church is making a positive impact in several of these aforementioned acts of mercy. However, I don’t want us, at this point, to relegate such acts of mercy to merely something that the church does. I want to remind you that “you” are the church. What are you personally doing to exhibit these acts of mercy in your own life?
Remember, that as we engage in these acts, we are also growing in our faith and becoming more Christ like in our attitude towards life. That is the goal of becoming a disciple. To be more Christ like.
I am just a simple United Methodist pastor. I am an elder in the Holston Annual Conference. This blog is my attempt to share the insights that I have gathered from John Wesley's writings and from others more knowledgable than myself in regards to Wesley. I am not a scholar. Perhaps you could best think of me as a practical theologian.