Genesis 30:27 (KJV), Psalm 106:5, Deuteronomy 10:21 (CEB)
27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.
5 so I can experience the good things your chosen ones experience,
so I can rejoice in the joy of your nation,
so I can praise along with your possession.
21 He is your praise, and he is your God—the one who performed these great and awesome acts that you witnessed with your very own eyes.
The Wesley Quadrilateral is a dictum that has relatively recently come into use to describe the principal factors that John Wesley believed illuminate the core of the Christian faith for the believer. Wesley did not formulate the succinct statement now commonly referred to as the “Wesley Quadrilateral”. Building on the Anglican theological tradition, Wesley added a fourth emphasis, experience. According to A Dictionary for United Methodists, “Experience is the individual’s understanding and appropriating of the faith in the light of his or her own life.” (Waltz, 1991)
Today’s scriptures, Genesis, Psalms, and Deuteronomy. are examples of past Old Testament experiences, and how our long-ago saints had observed and learned them to create the “cloud” which we celebrated on All Saints Day in November. Just opening our eyes to what’s around us – creation, (grand)children, and food, lead us to the greatest sacrifice that was ever experienced on this earth – THE CROSS!
I’ve always thought about Jesus’ earthly experiences in the midst of so many other humans. Humans struggle with various states of sin, all worthy of death and hell. The word that follows Christ’s death comes from the Greek word (tetelestai) which according to St. John, was the last word of Jesus on the cross, meaning “it is completed”.
According to tradition, this word was written on the slate kept above a Roman jail cell when the prisoner had “completed” his sentence, explaining to the other guards why the prisoner was no longer bodily there. The liberating experience of knowing our time under sin is done, both past – present – and future, is gone when washed in the precious blood of our Christ!
Here’s your riddle for the week: What’s the only thing in heaven that was man-made (answer is below).
By Brian Harriet
For Pondering & Prayer
Think about what you personally experienced through Advent and into last Christmas. Comparing our short length on earth and the long length of our eternal soul, what will you continue to carry with you?
Prayer: Lord, we know that the greatest earthly gift ever given was the experience of Your precious Son, Jesus the Christ, and His sacrifice for us. Help us to stay in Your Word and the “tetelestai” that frees us now and forevermore! Hallelujah! Amen.
Answer: Jesus still bears the stigmata: human-made on the perfect Lamb of God, now seated at God’s right hand.
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