Elaine E. Heath, Five Means of Grace, Experience God’s Love the Wesleyan Way, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2017, 80 pages.
E-Pub and Hardback
available from Cokesbury Bookstore for $US 6.79 + postage.
One of the unfortunate unintended consequences of the Uniting Church in Australia is the invisibility of all things Wesleyan in Australia – no more Methodists, no more reminders of John Wesley!
Elaine Heath, Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University in North Carolina, as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, is keen to share the treasures of the Wesleyan tradition with the widest possible audience. This little book is a gem from that treasury.
The book explores Wesley’s five spiritual practices, prayer, searching the scriptures, the Lord’s supper, fasting and Christian conferencing for a contemporary audience. She outlines Wesley’s original conception for these five disciplines, and explains simply how Christians today might apply them to their lives of faith.
Each section ends with questions for reflection and action.
Dean Heath concludes by commending the idea for every serious Christian of a simple rule of life.
The book is designed to fit into a pocket or stack of prayer books. The gilt lettering and embossed design make it a pleasure to hold and use. It is intended for frequent reference for a Christian implementing these spiritual habits for the first time.
It would make an ideal gift for a young member of the United Methodist Church; as well as for young members of the Australian churches with a Wesleyan heritage, the Uniting and Anglican Churches.
This hymn was inspired by Moses’ experience of the glory of God when he climbed Mount Sinai. This is described in Exodus 24:12-18 set for the Old Testament reading for the Stigmata (in the Australian Third Order Manual).
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the sky!
Praise him in the heavens! 2 Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all his heavenly mob! 3 Praise him, O sun and moon!
Praise him, all you shiny stars! 4 Praise him, O Milky Way,
and you Southern Cross at the heart of the skies! 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he gave the command and they came into existence. 6 He established them so they would endure;
he issued a decree that will not be revoked. 7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you orcas and all you great whales, 8 O fire and hail, snow and clouds,
O stormy wind that carries out his orders, 9 you Porongurups and all you Hamersleys,
you quandongs and all you karri trees, 10 you merinos and all you cattle,
you bungarras and you emus, 11 you elders of the Wardandi and all you Noongars,
you Aunties and all you Yamaji and desert folk,
you refugees and you fifth generation Australians, 12 you young men and young women,
you elderly, along with you children! 13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty extends over the earth and sky. 14 He has made his people victorious,
and given all his loyal followers reason to praise—
the West Australians, the people who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!
1 How lovely is the place where you live,
O Lord who rules over all! 2 I desperately want to be
in the courts of the Lord’s temple.
My heart and my entire being shout for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the birds find a home there,
and the blue wren builds a nest,
where she can protect her young
near your altars, O Lord who rules over all,
my king and my God. 4 How blessed are those who live in your temple
and praise you continually!
5 How blessed are those who find their strength in you,
and long to travel the roads that lead to your temple! 6 As they pass through the Sandy Desert,
he provides a spring for them.
The rain even covers it with pools of water. 7 They are sustained as they travel along;
in their hearts is the highway to Zion.
8 O Lord, sovereign God,
hear my prayer!
Listen, O God of Jacob! 9 O God, take notice of our shield!
Show concern for your chosen king!
10 Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better
than spending a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God
than live in the houses of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sovereign protector.
The Lord bestows favour and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity. 12 O Lord who rules over all,
how blessed are those who trust in you!