9 Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. 10 So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.
We are currently looking at the “Three Simple Rules” attributed the Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, on how to grow your Christian faith. Yesterday, we looked at rule #1, “Do No Harm”. This is an excellent start but it is definitely not a stopping point as rule #2 will show us. The second of the “Three Simple Rules” is, “Do Good”.
In Ibram X. Kendi’s book, “How to be an Antiracist”, he not only chronicles his own life with racism, but also comments theologically on the intersectionality between racism and other aspects of prejudice, like gender or sexuality. It’s a phenomenal read that I highly recommend. In fact, the first year I was here at Medford, we had a book club that read and dialogued about this book, and the most beautiful, raw conversations erupted from it. It’s connection to Wesley’s second rule is that Kendi’s overall argument in the book is that it is not enough to just “not be racist” but that we are also to be actively and intentionally antiracist in our words and actions. That’s very much the idea of rule #2, it is not enough to just not do harm, but God also calls us to be actively and intentionally doing good.
In today’s text from Galatians, we are called to “not get tired of doing good”. I feel like that’s where many of us are today, particularly after the pandemic. It’s especially hard to keep going out of our way to do good when we’re not instantly seeing the results from that good, but we must have faith that even if we don’t see it immediately (or ever), our doing no harm is not where the work for God’s kingdom should end – we are to be doing good even when it’s hard.
Just look at the photos chosen in our series graphic: people praying, people rebuilding homes, people wearing masks distributing vaccines, people serving communion, a statement in support of Ukraine, Isaac Simmons of Illinois preaching in drag, and J.J. Warren making a passionate speech in support of LGBTQ+ inclusion at the 2019 Special General Conference – all examples of people doing good in their community and in the world.
So, what makes a Methodist? Someone who thrives to not only do no harm, but to also do good.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Think about the relationship between our first two rules: “Do No Harm” and “Do Good”. What comes to mind? In what ways do these practices play out in your own life and faith?
Prayer: Lord of Goodness, we praise Your Holy name that You have entrusted us with sharing Your goodness in the world. May it be so. Amen.