Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

- Adapted from John Wesley's Covenant Prayer

This prayer reminds me of what concentration camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom often said, "Hold loosely to the things of this life, so that if God requires them of you, it will be easy to let them go."
It also reminds me that "He must increase, and I must decrease" (John 3:30)
Amazing how unlike Western society Christianity can be. If one didn't know Wesley were British and Christian, would one mistake him for an Eastern mystic or philosopher from this prayer? Emptying of self and letting go of the need for worldly possessions, somewhat Buddah-esque, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because those aren't American ideas, does not mean that they aren't the ideas taught by Jesus Christ.

A more contemporary interpretation might be "Are you going to love things and use people, or use things and love people?"

Call me a "Socialist" and tell people that I shouldn't be allowed to influence young people by teaching in our schools, but I really believe that this is prayer of Wesley's is just what St. Paul calls us to do in Philippians 2,  "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:3-5)"

Here are some great verses that talk about holding loosly to the things of this world;
1 John 2:15, Luke 12:15, Hebrews 12:1b-2a, Matthew 13:22, Hebrews 13:5, Philippians 4:11-12, Luke 12:15, Philippians 2:1-11

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