In 1743, John Wesley, the founder the movement we know today as the United Methodist Church, wrote Nature, Design, and General Rules of the United Societies. This was for people who were part of the Church of England and whose membership was based on “a desire to flee from the wrath to come and to be saved from their sins.” Sounds good to me.
Wesley gave these groups three foundational rules to abide by to live out their faith. First, do no harm. Second, do good of every possible sort, and as far as possible, to all. Thirdly, attend upon all the ordinances of God (worship, prayer, fasting, Holy Communion, baptism, study of Scripture). Three simple rules that still work today for us as followers of Jesus Christ.
I’ve thought a lot about the first - do no harm - as we have been making decisions for The Downtown Church. Exploring the challenging book White Fragility with three small groups was an intentional way to look seriously at the sin of racism and have honest conversations about who we are and who God is calling us to be. Choosing to delay in person worship was a decision we made because the health of those who might gather was considered more important than any personal need we may have to be together.
Doing no harm is not an excuse for inaction. It is an intentional choice to care greatly for the world and the people in it. Sounds good to me.
See you Sunday (online),