Warning: I may get a little worked up Sunday. (But my ire won’t be directed at any of you.) I’m going to talk about how United Methodists value and use scripture. The sermon title is “#BeUMC: Reading Scripture with United Methodist Eyes.” I’ll be responding to the charge that we, as a church and as individuals, don’t take the Bible seriously. It’s a charge that I have really grown to resent in recent years. I chose this topic for this week because it’s also the Sunday when we present Bibles to third graders. Hope to see you there.
This Sunday, I’m continuing my #BeUMC sermon series with a sermon on the United Methodist understanding of grace. Grace is commonly understood as God’s forgiveness of our sins. In the broader, biblical, (and United Methodist) understanding, grace includes the forgiveness of sins. But a better, more comprehensive, working definition would be that grace is a combination of God’s power and God’s love at work in the world, seeking to redeem all humanity and all creation. My text will be from Ephesians 2:1-10 with a nod to Philippians 2:12.
This Sunday, I’m preaching the first in a sermon series titled “What’s So Great About Being United Methodist?” or, to go with the denomination’s social media campaign, “#BeUMC.” Our beloved denomination hasn’t had the easiest time of it lately, but there are many reasons for us to stick with it. Reasons both theological and missional. This first sermon will feature one of the reasons theological, focusing on our belief that love is God’s reigning attribute. My text will be 1 John 4:7-21. I’ll be referencing John Wesley’s interpretation of this passage, but I aim to preach a sermon of interest to United Methodists and non-United Methodists alike.
Here’s the key quote from Wesley’s Notes on the New Testament:
God is often styled holy, righteous, wise: but not holiness, righteousness, or wisdom in the abstract: as he is said to be love: intimating that this is . . . [God’s] reigning attribute; the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections. 
 John Wesley, Notes on the New Testament, 1 John 4:8.