I had to dust down my copy of Wesley’s Sermons this week to read “Catholic Spirit”, sermon 39. I admit, the prospect wasn’t filling me with joy, and the thought transported me back to my local preacher’s interview, including the cold sweat and shakes. However this time I’m asking the questions and listening to Janet’s response to Wesley’s sermon.
So with a cup of tea in hand I read, inwardly digested and ended up being pleasantly surprised. The sermon is thoroughly modern, or should I say post-modern in its thinking. You can read the text if you so wish here. In short the message he puts across is that Christians have differences of opinion in theology and worship styles, yet we have much in common. He encourages his hearers to stand with their own convictions and styles but also to respect and give space to other peoples views. This isn’t an anything goes approach to Christianity and has at its heart the command received from Jesus, “love your neighbour as yourself”.
I confess that it is 23 years since I last read a Wesley sermon. Perhaps the good experience will motivate me not to leave it as long next time!