Loving God, Loving Our Neighbors

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.” 

-John Wesley- 

 As United Methodist Christians, we believe - as did the founder of the Methodist Movement, John Wesley -  that Christians must do both Works of Piety and Works of Mercy in order to move on toward Christian perfection.

 

Works of Piety are practices that draw us into God’s presence so we hear God’s still, small voice guiding us, God’s song of redemption sung over us, and God’s words of promise to always be with us. These works of piety are practiced in private when it is just God and us. They are also lived out publicly in corporate worship or small groups. Works of piety include reading scripture, praying, fasting, and taking time for solitude.

 

Works of Mercy, are practices that draw us closer to one another through the presence of the Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that His followers would be recognized for how they loved and served one another.  Scholars have noted about John Wesleyand the Methodists that “it was not so much that the Methodists were among the poor as the poor were among the Methodists.”

 

Do no harm,

Do good,

Stay in love with God

- John Wesley- 

In other words, a shared life together which crosses economic, social, or ethnic boundaries and calls people to inward and outward expressions of holy love is the calling of the Christian life. To hear the cry of the needy is to hear the cry of all of God’s children - the orphaned child in Uganda, the single mother in Duluth, the homeless man on the corner of Hennepin Avenue, the CEO in St. Paul, the migrant worker from Mexico, and the family in the suburbs.  To hear and respond to the cry of human need has been God’s work of reconciliation from the beginning of time. For God is rich in mercy and has made us alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5), and His justice will roll like a river (Amos 5:24). In these promises, we place our faith and hope.

 

These simple rules for living form the structure of what it means to obey the Great Commandment which is expressed in two ways: love God and love neighbor. But these rules also bring about questions and call us to action. What does it mean to be loved, do no harm, do good and abide in God’s love? How do I (we) follow this blueprint to wholeness? For John Wesley these three simple rules came to life in Wesley’s practical, daily responses to loving God and loving neighbor, such as:

 

·         Living modestly and giving all he could to help people who were poor;

·         Visiting people in prison and providing them with spiritual guidance, food and clothing;

·         Speaking out against slavery which deprived humanity of freedom and dignity and forbade it in Methodism;

·         Publishing books, pamphlets, and magazines for the education of the people;

·         Teaching and writing about good health care practices, dispensing medicine from his chapels, and speaking out against health care which favored only those with money and denied care and compassion for the poor;

·         Encouraging his small groups to be among the poor, to visit the sick, and to witness with their eyes the deplorable conditions of those who go without basic necessities of life.

Through the Outreach Ministries of The PORT, we love God by serving our neighbors through Cornerstone, Feed My Starving Children, VEAP, Habitat for Humanity, Wesley United Methodist Church Saturday Meals, and many other places.  We give all that we can to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and to six Special United Methodist Sundays that benefit many different groups of people including Native Americans, Students, groups that work for Peace and Justice . . . and many more.

Join us whenever you can to do all the good you can.  You are always welcome.

Join Us

8000 Portland Ave. So.
Bloomington, MN 55420
(952) 888-6070
 

Sunday Schedule:
8:45am Education For All Ages
9:30am Fellowship Time
10:00am Worship Service
 

Office Hours: T,W,TH 9:00am-1:00pm

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