Wesley Windows: Introduction

A window is a place to stand or sit and look out on a larger reality. The Wesleys lived and ministered in ways that have become windows through which we can see life in Christ and live it inwardly and outwardly. I am writing this series to explore some of those windows, not just to know what they are, but more, to take what we see and use it to live as faithful disciples of Christ.

When the Wesleys began Methodism in the early 1740’s, it was a time of awakening in the society and the church. They envisioned the Methodist movement to be a fellowship “united together in the several parts of the kingdom, engaging, in like manner, to be helpful to each other in all good, Christian ways.” [1] The early Methodists were faithful to that intent.

We are living in another time of awakening, a time when uniting together in “all good Christian ways” is much needed. Awakenings are times when God does new things (Isaiah 43:19), or as Jesus put it, when new wineskins are created (Mark 2:22). Awakenings are liminal space times, times of disorder, as God moves us from an old order into a new creation. We make that journey through contemplation and action.

The Wesleyan tradition offers us formative insights for living well in this kairos time. This series of bi-weekly blogs (2nd & 4th Mondays) aims to take us to a particular “Wesley Window” through which to view an aspect of abundant living.

The Wesleys were faithful to God in creating a movement that enriched the lives of people, simultaneously renewing the Church and reforming the nation. We need the same outcomes today. I hope these posts will contribute to that end. I invite you to join me in looking at life in Christ through “Wesley Windows.”

[1] A letter from John Wesley to Mr. T.H. dated December 12 1760, Ted A. Campbell, ed., ’The Works of John Wesley,’ Volume 27, Letters III: 1756-1765 (Abingdon Press, 2015), 225. This multi-volume publication is often referred to as the Bi-Centennial Edition of Wesley’s Works because the first volume came out in 1984, the 200th anniversary of the official beginning of Methodism as a denomination in America.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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