It seems to me that life and particularly Christian discipleship is about choice.
Some choices bring joy to others and build us up, others drag us and all around down.
With that in mind I am delighted with some choices I have seen recently. For example that Methodists from Raunds made the choice to get up at 3am this morning to go and cook breakfast for people who are homeless in London. This morning others in the circuit met to plan future Cafechurch events to reach people in this area with the Good News.
I am also sure that my choice to engage with the future of the Methodist Church through standing for the Methodist Council was the right one for me. While reading the 400 odd pages of reports is time consuming I do believe that making time for reflection and conferring in that way has been a good choice for me. Mind you I am also convinced that for me engaging through social media is also an appropriate choice. See The Kneeler: A place to Confer…?
Sadly other choices abound. During the last few days I have been saddened by some choices Methodists have made online. Choices that have not exhibited grace, choices that have torn down people and have not reflected Christian values.
I am not going to name anyone (and I will simply delete any comments that do so). But come on people this is not good enough, it is not worthy of the Lord we serve, it is not worthy of our faith, it is not how Methodism should be seen by anyone.
Meanwhile, to everyone else: Don't look at us, we are failures, we have not lived by the gospel we preach and we need forgiveness. Instead look to Jesus and encourage us to do the same. Then the gospel reading we have explored recently might be true today as it was 2,000 years ago:
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Wow what choices we could make! What a difference they could make to our lives and the lives of people around us.