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Means of Grace: Examen in the Wesleyan Tradition

Wednesday, January 5, 2022
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Examen in the Wesleyan Tradition - Episode No. 78

As we begin 2022, Bishop Ken Carter offers a spiritual practice for the new year. This Examen in the Wesleyan Tradition walks listeners through a prayerful review of their day, rooted in our tradition as followers of Jesus in the Wesleyan Tradition. We hope this prayer meditation helps you center yourself in grace, repentance, confession, faith and love in this new year.
 
Bishop Carter began work on this practice in 2019 and has shared it in a number of contexts, including the Florida Conference Table, the Pre-Conference Briefing and in his book God Will Make A Way: Spiritual Life and Leadership in a Contested Season. You can find a written version below. Bishop Carter encourages us to use this practice and adapt it to make it our own in this season of ministry.


An Examen in the Wesleyan Tradition

Grace

I begin today by claiming my identity as one who is created in the image of God. 
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am of sacred worth and am uniquely gifted. 
When I come to myself—the truth of who I am—I experience blessing.

I reflect on those persons who have been a part of my life today,
who have seen this in me, who have encouraged me. 
Have I really been attentive to them? 
Have I fully accepted their gifts?

I stay with these encounters for a moment.
I see the faces of these persons and listen to their voices again.


Repentance

Next, I see the moments of my day that I regret.  
I rely upon the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially love, peace, and patience,
for help in returning to these moments. 
This is uncomfortable.
And yet repentance that is of God is a return to the love God wants for me. 
It is the journey home. 

For a moment, I consider the ways I am stuck or lost. 
Why do I resist change?
I ask for the courage to return to God. 


Confession

As I reflect on the day,
I ask God to reveal the harm that I have done to others
and the harm I have done to myself.
I make an honest assessment of my failures and mistakes.
Where I have not loved my neighbor as myself, I confess that I have sinned. 

What is the sin that separates me from those closest to me?  
How does arrogance,  judgmentalism, ego or privilege distort the way I see others? 
How have I buried my birthright gifts and refused to enjoy and share them?


Faith

I ask for the gift of God’s healing and renewing grace. 
I set aside my own claims of righteousness or merit.
In faith, I say yes to Jesus Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me.
I place my trust in Jesus Christ alone for the gift of salvation.  

And for a moment, I consider how I am actually living by faith. 
Do I find it difficult to trust? 

I return to the good news that I embraced when I first began to walk with Jesus. 
I ask that God would empower me to live this day in faith. 

Love

God has created me.  
God knows me.  
God’s sacrificial love in the crucified Jesus is for my salvation. 
When I have received the gift of faith, I become a more loving person. 
And when I have placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ,
I become a part of his body, which is the church.  

I boldly ask that I will be made perfect in love in this life—
that I will love God,
and love the people I encounter each day in God. 

I ask that my love for God would grow as I read the scriptures,
spend time in prayer and receive communion as often as possible.  

I ask God to give me a greater love for others,
especially those to whom I have made promises and covenants,
and those with whom I have differences. 

I ask God for the happiness that is taking the daily risk of living in grace,
practicing repentance and confession,
and growing in a faith that expresses itself through love.   

Amen.



Show Notes - Episode No. 78

Learn more about Bishop Ken Carter.
Download the transcript from this episode.
 

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