I once read that Charles Wesley wrote hymns that started on earth and finished in heaven. He did not consider himself above those who would sing the songs he wrote. He, like us, was grounded on earth as mortals aware of our small place in this giant world. But, like us, he also knew that we are more than just flesh and bone, made from dust only to return there. We are something more.
It was also true of his brother John's theology. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement nearly 300 years ago, was a fascinating study of a man. He synthesized his experience and the vast readings he consumed throughout his life into a unique theology unlike any other around today. The most unique part of his theology was what he believed about life after the moment we are saved, or justified, by the grace and work of Jesus Christ. He preached about it extensively, referring to it as sanctification that leads to Christian Perfection. Thomas Langford wrote, Wesley "was firmly convinced of the coming day of Christ, which is not yet, but toward which humankind, with the whole creation, is moving."
I'll grant that he is speaking more eloquently, but it was this very truth that I was trying to convey to the children seated at my feet this past Sunday. I was holding the $1, $5 and $10 and talking about the motto "In God We Trust" found on each of them. It is an inspiring and equally puzzling phrase.
I said sometimes we write things down that are not yet true, but that we want to be true one day. As a nation, we are both trusting and striving to trust in God. As individuals, we are both faithful to that which we cannot see yet still believe, and desperately praying for our faith to grow. We are both there and not even close. We are moving. We are being made perfect, but have a long way to go. For some of us, a very long way!
To live like this requires grace. To remember that none of us has arrived takes patience. To believe that any of us can one day get there, requires a great deal of faith, doesn't it? God really will be a miracles worker if some of the people I know can get in! But it is true.
All of this, in my mind, is related to Consecration Sunday. We are asked where are we and where is God leading us? We are not stationary or standing still. God wants us to grow in grace and not stop moving. I believe he has trusted us with abundant blessings so that we would get a glimpse of what is still yet to come. I am so thankful for the faithful and trusting people of Epworth. Let us continue to grow and trust.