This Sunday is the final sermon in our sermon series Three Simple Rules in which we are being challenged by John Wesley’s General Rules—a part of the Methodist Movement from the early days to the present. They are 1) Do no harm; 2) Do good of every possible sort; and 3) Stay in love with God. What a difference it would make in our lives, our relationships, our families, our community, our church, our nation and our world if we all lived by these rules! Stay in love with God. That’s the last of the three general rules. Actually, Wesley worded it differently. He said, “Attend upon the ordinances of God,” but Bishop Rueben Job’s version is friendlier to present-day ears: Stay in love with God. Our ability, I believe, to live by the first two rules depends upon our living by the third rule. Paul, in the scripture passage from Romans 12 that we are living with these three weeks, says, “God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it… Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.” Staying in love with God comes from the center of who we are. Staying in love with God is how we keep from burning out. It is how we keep ourselves “fueled and aflame.” When we love someone, we are intentional about our relationship with our beloved. We talk. We eat together. We learn about our beloved. We sacrifice for that person. We celebrate the good in our beloved. We are energized by being with that person. We work at the relationship, but the work doesn’t feel like work. So, what does that look like when it comes to our love of God? Sunday we’ll think about some important questions together: What does it mean to say I will stay in love with God? How do I do that? What difference does it make? I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we worship together our God whom we love and who loves us beyond all measure.
Grace and Peace,