Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 24, 1738- Aldersgate Day

One of the heroes of the faith for me is John Wesley. His life shows the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith. He found it is not just being good, as much as he tried- Holiness Club, a mission trip to America, before he realized salvation does not come from good works.
It is interesting that John's awakening, at Aldersgate, in 1738, comes near Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost floats like Easter, as they are based on the spring equinox and full moon. May 24, 1738, John was in a Bible study, when the Holy Spirit moved with such clarity that he wrote, "I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation."
Such fire to turn people to Jesus, in coal mines and open fields. I can't hardly imagine the crowds of people gathering to hear him very early in the morning, tens of  thousands. No microphones, no large stage or praise band, or pyrotechnics, only a voice preaching salvation. He started Sunday schools so the uneducated, working class could have a chance. The Holy Spirit moved him.
Renewal could be the word for the many denominations that arose from his Methodism. Salvation Army, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal Holiness, the Church of the Nazarene and a hosts of others. A strange phenomenon for a man who did not want to leave his Church of England, but bring freshness and reform to it.
So on this Pentecost Sunday so soon after Aldersgate Day, I challenge us to revive our world, the center in us. As our hearts need to be strangely warmed, may that spread to those around us. Live in Christ, listen to the Holy Spirit, declare God's Kingdom is at hand.
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