Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wesley-the DVD

File:WESLEY-MOVIE-POSTER-640.jpgMy husband bought me this DVD for Christmas. I watched it Friday and for a low budget film, I enjoyed it. As I have mentioned before, John Wesley is a bit of a hero for me. I am by no means a scholar of his life, but I have read a few biographies and this spring I read a book of a few of his sermons.
This film is interesting as the script is based on John and Charles' diaries and journals, including one just translated from John's secret code in the 1980's. I think I enjoyed it because of the all the reading I had done. Always fun to have pictures with the words.
My favorite scene is when John's heart is strangely warmed as he realizes faith found him. The joy that floods his soul, as he tells his brother Charles, who has been praying for him to come to this point. They cannot help but sing a hymn that Charles had penned earlier. They sing with gusto.
In the introduction to every Methodist hymnal, a page to instruct from John Wesley how to sing these songs. My girls discovered this at a UMC church camp, Jumonville, while we adults talked. The singers are encouraged to sing heartedly, learn the words before you learn any other songs and sing as you did the songs of the world.
John always sensed a purpose in his life. I can relate to that, I was told often how one surgeon wanted to end my mother's pregnancy with me, but the other won out. With strategies like his Holy Club and good deeds, study and teaching, he tried hard to earn his salvation, never believing he belonged to God, until that fateful service at Aldersgate.  By then Charles, also came to a living faith.  These men effected many social ills, influencing the likes of Wilberforce, John Newton, and Whitefield. The American Revolution can trace its roots to the Methodist movement.
If you want an encapsulated  rendering of John and Charles Wesley's life and impact, I recommend this movie. If you are a film  critic, it may be hard to watch. Some of the acting is stiff, but not the main acting between the brothers. It also seems very clean for colonial times. To me these are minor distractions. I truly was pleased how it followed the story with the men's own words. And Burgress Jenkins is not hard to watch.
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