Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Means of Grace

According to the United Methodist Church website, the means of grace could be divided into Works of Piety and works of Mercy.

Works of Piety are practices that lead us to holiness of living.  We can do them as individuals or as communal practices.  Individuals practices include reading, meditating, and studying scripture, prayer, fasting, regularly attending worship, healthy living, and sharing out faith with others.  Communal acts of piety include sharing the sacraments, Christian conversation and accountability, and Bible study.

Can you see how these practices can lead to wisdom?  Reading, study, Christian Conversation, and Bible Study open our minds to seek God through the Bible  and through others.  Meditation, prayer and fasting, and worship open our minds to the work of the holy spirit to whisper wisdom from God to us.

What about Works of Mercy?  Individuals works include good works, visiting the sick, and those in prison, feeding the hungry, and generosity.  Communal practices include seeking justice, ending oppression and discrimination, and addressing the needs of the poor.  I think all of us would agree that putting feet on the words of Jesus to love each other, when we do it though acts of mercy, not only benefit the ones who need the help, but also open us up to wisdom.  Help other people, and you will find you are the one who needed mercy.

In our quest to find wisdom, I think Wesley's list of the means of grace are an excellent starting point.

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