John Wesley, founder of Methodism, had feelings of inadequacy following his time of missionary service in Georgia. As he returned to England, a Moravian named Peter Bohler encouraged Wesley to “Preach faith till you have it, and then, because you have it you will preach faith.” Later Wesley came to understand there were “outward signs, words, or actions ordained by God” to help us grow in the faith. He called these “means of grace.” By acknowledging his own need and feelings of inadequacy, Wesley was able to receive the grace he needed to find the power, as well as the peace, that had been missing from his faith.
So “means of grace” are ways God’s grace comes to us in life. Some are general, like taking up our cross. Others are more specific, such as prayer, scripture reading, participating in Holy Communion, fasting and worship. These and others are pathways that open us up to the work of the Holy Spirit. Rather than idly waiting for God to move within us, the means of grace are active ways that we pursue a deeper relationship with God.
As we approach the Lenten season, I would like to encourage you to take advantage of opportunities for learning and growth in worship as we focus on some of the spiritual disciplines or “means of grace.”
- Mar 9: Prayer and Meditation
- Mar. 16: Sabbath
- Mar 23: Hospitality
- Mar. 30: Generosity
- April 6: Holy Communion
God uses the means of grace to help us grow in our spiritual walk. As we come to better understand these ways that God’s Holy Spirit becomes alive in our lives, we will grow closer to God.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing you this Sunday, and throughout the season of Lent.
Blessings and Peace,