This is what Incarnation means. Its not just our theology. It’s our ecclesiology. It’s the way we do church. We seek to make known the unknown, by building bridges. Chuck Swindoll has said, “People who inspire others are those who see invisible bridges at the end of dead-end streets.” That’s what it means to be a witness, to build invisible bridges, so that the unknown God becomes known!
The good news is that we already have a basic blueprint for how to help people embrace faith in Jesus and become his apprentices. Methodist discipline, or the method that gave Methodism its name, was focused on helping people become deeply committed Christians, to become mature followers of Jesus Christ … The biggest challenge contemporary Wesleyans may face is our own unwillingness to be a disciplined people.
…More than once these last days, we have felt the absence of the presence of God. But, in that overwhelming feeling that turns us upside down and breaks us in two, we find ourselves with Jesus on the cross, out of control and crying – “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken us,” quoting Psalm 22.
God orchestrates life so that we are constantly bumping into him. God wants to catch any time with us, any snippet, any chance meeting to be near us (John 6:44, Acts 17:28, 2 Timothy 1:5). This same God initiated, gave that beforehand grace that is a part of every human being’s life.
I’m always encouraged when pastors and laypeople express an interest in finding out more about our tradition. Ultimately however, if we want not only to learn about Wesley but also to become Wesleyan, we should take John Wesley’s approach to the Christian life seriously. It isn’t just about becoming familiar with a fascinating figure in church history. It is about letting that figure serve as a guide to point us toward Jesus Christ and the salvation that he wants to give us.
For some reason, throughout history, people of faith have thought that we can separate our relationship with God from our relationship with others. They have thought that we can pick and choose those whom we will love. We will love those we like, those we feel good about, those we approve of. Forget about the others.