In our Sunday worship services in July, we have been took another look at the “Three Simple Rules” which come from John Wesley’s “General Rules for the United Societies.” Today we are used to referring to these societies of the early Methodists as the “Class Meetings” of the 1700’s.
A couple of years ago, Bishop Reuben Job wrote a short book called “Three Simple Rules” which updated John Wesley’s thinking from the 1700’s into the 21st Century. The three simple rules are
- Do No Harm
- Do Good
- Stay in Love with God
As Bishop Job writes,
There are three simple rules that have the power to change the world. While they are ancient, they have seldom been fully put to the test. But when and where practiced, the world of things as they were was shaken until a new formation, a new world was formed. The Wesleyan movement is a prime example of this new creation that is formed when these three simple rules are adopted as a way of living.
Job, Rueben “Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living” Abingdon Press
To do no harm means that each of us needs to be on the lookout so that what we day or do (or don’t say or don’t do!) does not cause harm to another person or any part of God’s creation. When we look at the life of Jesus, we see that he taught and lived a life that do no harm to another. To live this way is to live as Jesus did.
To do good, is to take this a step farther and it gets a bit more complicated. You see, doing good is not limited just to those who I like, or just to those those who like me, or even to persons who we think are “worthy” of our goodness. After all, Jesus said, “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (from Luke 6:27-28).
Staying in love with God is what gives us the strength, encouragement, and inspiration to be able to live out the first two rules, and it is essential. We need to practice in our lives the spiritual disciplines which open to us the channels of grace which God provides. These spiritual practices through which we experience the grace of Jesus Christ include participating in worship, taking part in Holy Communion, prayer with our family and with others, and studying the Bible, to name a few.
Bishop Job writes,
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? But the facts are that those who have followed these three simple rules have discovered their world changed and they were enabled to claim their full inheritance as children of God.
So as we move from July (and learning about these three simple practices) into August (and living out these three simple practices in our lives!!) let us be mindful of the places where we can meet and serve God. Worship is a good place to start and find your direction. So, as they say, “See you in church!” Until then,
May God Bless Us!