Tonight we are wrapping up our study of the Rev. Scott Gunn’s book: The Way of Love: A Practical Guide to Following Jesus. We will be discussing Chapter 7 “Rest” and Chapter 8 “Next Steps.” We will begin our study of 1 Peter next week.
The Way of Love:
Rev. Gunn’s book is a “practical guide to following Jesus.” This book is intended to be a means for each of us to intentionally develop better everyday habits which will help us live into our life in Christ. The Way of Love is not an academic study, but more of a how-to book. How do we follow Jesus on a daily basis?
Rule of Life:
Throughout Christian history, the question of how to follow Jesus on a daily basis has been asked and answered down through the millennia. The answers have generally become known as a “Rule of Life.” The most famous of these Rules is the Rule of St. Benedict. This Rule was written down by St. Benedict in c.530 to organize the daily activities of monks into regular periods of communal and private prayer, sleep, spiritual reading, and manual labor.
A personal Rule of Life, however, is not intended to be as complicated or as all-encompassing as St. Benedict’s. Rather, Rev. Gunn advises us to start small and to start easy. The idea is to write down several easily achievable daily activities that will help you Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest, and to engage in each of these set activities every day for a month. The goal is to develop habits of intentionally engaging Jesus every day.
Creating a Rule:
Rev. Gunn gives us three steps in creating our own personal Rule of Life: Reflect, Write, and Revisit. First, we reflect on three to five things that we could do daily. Write these items down. And after about a month, revisit these items and make adjustments and additions. On page 130, Rev. Gunn sets out some very basic ideas that each of us could start with.
Of course, many of us may already have a basic Rule of Life that we have developed over the years whether intentionally or not. For tonight’s discussion think about not only those activities that you can undertake (rest is an activity), but also think about any activities that you take already to walk the Way of Love with Jesus.
Rev. Gunn ends his chapter on “Developing a Rule of Life” with the following questions:
1. What are some ideas for your rule of life? Jot down a few possible rules.
2. After you have done some more praying and perhaps spoken with others, what rule of life will you keep for one month? Write down three rules.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is a chicken potato casserole. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here!
Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil.1 Thessalonians 5:13b-22