What does it mean to be free?
Wesleyans believe that, unlike some of our other Sisters and Brothers in Christ, that God has given us Free Will. That we are able to live and move throughout this world based on our own choices, God doesn’t force us to follow God, but God earnestly desires a relationship with us. In part, it is because of this freedom, that is borne out of God’s deep love for us, that we have grace. God showers us with grace upon grace, to bring us closer to God and God’s Will so that we might make this world a better place.
This means that, every day, every hour, every moment, we are given the choice to live freely while connected to God or to live freely apart from God. Every word we speak and every action we take is a choice: A choice to glorify God or to not.
St. Augustine once said, “Grace is necessary along with free will to lead a good life.” When we make the choice to follow Christ we take our free will and we use the grace that God gives us to glorify God and to boldly make this world a little more God-like.
We aren’t forced to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, but that makes it harder doesn’t it? Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a say in the matter, that I could just go about my business and rest in the knowledge that I am constantly glorifying God, but that’s not how God works. God wants us to enthusiastically follow, lead by our own desire to worship God and to practice Gods Law. God doesn’t want a bunch of mindless followers who don’t have a say in the matter. When we all, as the beautiful Body of Christ, come together, we bring so many different parts of ourselves, our diversity, and our know-how, that helps to show the vast panorama of Gods love.
The image I picked for this post is taken from the Riverside Church in New York, Rev. Amy Butler is the pastor there and these are the guidelines for living in todays world that she shared with her congregation. I placed them here so that, when the time comes to either follow Christ or to follow your own desire, that you might think on them.
When given the choice, as we so often are, I invite you to act out of the conviction of your faith, to speak for those most at risk, and to constantly strive for reconciliation with all people.