Bishop Fairley’s introductory message is very timely. In his reference to Susan Beaumont book, Bishop Fairley encourages us to trust in God’s grace that is always sufficient, during this liminal time.
Beaumont offers this quote at the beginning of her book by Ed Catmull (Pixar): “There is a sweet spot between the known and the unknown where originality happens; the key is to be able to linger there without panicking.” Again, what a timely invitation from our new Bishop in such a time like this.
What an important reminder, we need more than ever, to extend grace. We are called to extend God’s sufficient grace to ourselves and to one another, as we go through this liminal time. We need God’s sufficient grace, using Beaumont words, as we try to lead and serve in a time when we don’t know where we are going.
An emphasis on grace is also one of the marks of our Wesleyan heritage. In fact, one of the marks of a Wesleyan is the frequency in which we use the means of grace. Bishop Fairley encourage us to “continue to seek peace with everyone, letting our love be mutual, allowing our acts of social justice to flow from the deep wells of spiritual holiness.” Works of mercy and works of piety are ways in which we can extend grace to ourselves and one another.
What are some of the acts of compassion and justice that we might incorporate to our daily lives? What are some of the acts of devotion and worship that we might incorporate to our daily lives? In a liminal time, in a time when we don’t know where are we going, embracing the means of grace available might be the best way forward.
~ a hymn by Charles Wesley ~
Try us, O God, and search the ground
Of every sinful heart!
Whate’er of sin in us is found,
O bid it all depart!
When to the right or left we stray,
Leave us not comfortless,
But guide our feet into the way
Of everlasting peace.
Help us to help each other, Lord,
Each other’s cross to bear;
Let all thier friendly aid afford,
And feel each other’s care.
Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve;
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
And perfect us in love.
Up into thee, our living Head,
Let us in all things grow,
Till thou hast made us free indeed,
And spotless here below.
If you would like to view past editions of Time with Ismael, follow this link: https://heritagedistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/