September Work of Piety

Monthly Work of Piety
 
John Wesley encouraged the early Methodists to practice these three “general rules” of discipleship: do no harm, do good, and practice the means of grace. Bishop Reuben Job has paraphrased the third of these rules to mean “stay in love with God.” Every month our congregation is encouraged to participate in a work of piety as a way to stay in love with
God. These works include reading and reflecting upon parts of scripture, cultivating a spirit of gratitude, praying, practicing resurrection, watching our words . . .
 
September Work of Piety
What Is My Portrait of God?
 
During the fall, our theme in worship will be Portraits of Faith. For the first couple of weeks we will be exploring our portraits of God, and seeing them in light of the new portrait of God that Jesus gave to us through his life and teachings.
For this month’s work of piety we are encouraged to consider our own portrait of God. As we give thought to how we see God, and how we understand God’s relationship to us and the world, here are some questions we might consider:
What scriptures are most revealing to me of the mind, heart, and character of God?
How did my early experiences in the church shape my understanding of God?
How has that changed through the years as I have grown in my faith?
What personal experiences have I had that have affected my relationship with God, and how has that affected my portrait of God?
How does my portrait of God compare to the God revealed to us by Jesus, by his parables and teachings, his treatment of other people, and his commitment to God’s Kingdom?
In one of his parables Jesus portrayed a father welcoming home his wayward son in these memorable words:
But while the son was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he
ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
Can I imagine God acting like this father? Towards others? Towards me? Given my own portrait of God, and my own deepest held beliefs about God, how would I imagine this father
acting in response to his son’s homecoming?