Monday, January 11, 2016

Grace Upon Grace

From the fullness of Christ, we have received grace upon grace.  

United Methodists are people of grace:  we receive grace, we experience grace, we celebrate grace, we embody grace, we offer grace.  We know grace to be powerful, a force for transformation.  We believe in the power of grace:  unconditional love that has changed our lives, unrelenting love that will change the world.

What is a Methodist?  Our forebears said clearly that a Methodist is one who loves God completely - with heart and mind and soul and strength - and who loves another as much as self.  This is our deepest identity.  We are people of responsive love.  God has so loved us that we adore God as we love one another.  

Our worldwide connection is called to bear the love of God gracefully.  We are called to listen well, to give space for others, to give up insisting on our way, to humbly abide in servant love.  We do not need to control one another, to change one another, to reform or redeem one another.  We trust that God is forming and reforming us all.

Jesus Christ never let go of love as mode, as motivation, as strategy.  As faithful Christians in the Wesleyan tradition, we cherish the way of Jesus:  holy embodiment of divine, redeeming, reconciling love.

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
United States
Southeastern Jurisdiction
Raleigh Episcopal Area