WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF MAY, 2017
* John and Charles Wesley *
O LORD God almighty, father of angels and men, we praise and bless your holy name for all your goodness and loving kindness to humanity. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and for your unceasing generosity to us throughout our lives; but above all, we bless you for your great love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ. We bless you for bringing us safe to the beginning of a new day. Grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger. Keep us, we pray, from all things hurtful to body or soul, and grant us your pardon and peace, So that, being cleansed from all our sins, We might serve you with quiet hearts and minds, and continue in the same until our life's end, through Jesus Christ, our saviour and redeemer. Amen.
( John Wesley )
And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the saviour’s blood?
Died he for me, who caused his pain,
for me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
that thou, my God, should die for me?
It is mystery all: the immortal dies:
who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
to sound the depths of love divine.
It is mercy all! Let earth adore,
let angel minds inquire no more.
He left his father’s throne above
so free, so infinite his grace;
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam’s helpless race:
It is mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray:
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Still the small inward voice I hear,
that whispers all my sins forgiven;
still the atoning blood is near,
that quenched the wrath of hostile heaven.
I feel the life his wounds impart;
I feel the saviour in my heart.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach the eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
( Charles Wesley )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
John and Charles Wesley: bringing Christ to the working class
The twenty-fourth of May is the day Saint Laika’s remembers John and Charles Wesley, who renewed the church in the eighteenth century and founded the movement known as Methodism.
They were raised in a very devout family, the fifteenth and eighteenth children of Samuel and Susanna Wesley. They were educated at Christ Church College, Oxford. They both were priests in the Church of England. At Oxford they belonged to “The Holy Club,” a group which sought deeper spiritual lives, centred on frequent communion and fasting twice a week. The term “Methodist” was first a derogatory term, but later came to characterise their movement.
Following a brief stay in North America, the brothers returned to England. Through contact with the Moravians, both John and Charles had an experience of inner conversion, and they began to set up Methodist societies across the country. They tried, at first, to work within the Church of England, to revive what they considered its apathetic spirit. But they were marginalised by the Church, and so started to preach in towns and countryside, which led to John Wesley’s famous saying: “I look upon all the world as my parish.”
While John preached, Charles wrote hymns and since they were meeting in halls, not churches, the use of the piano for hymn-singing and the informal giving of testimony led to the involvement of the poor and working class people. Wesley insisted that God’s prevenient grace could come upon us, to enable our souls more fully to cooperate with the action of God in us and in the world.The Church of England could never really contain their movement, and toward the end of his life John Wesley himself began to ordain Methodist ministers for work in America and in Scotland. After his death, the Methodists became a separate church and continues to exist throughout the world today.
Quote. “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the "Epistle to the Romans." About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Scripture. In the forty-ninth chapter of "Isaiah" at verse six, God says:
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
... for peace in the world.
... for the continuing work of the Methodist Churches around the world.
... for all who work and minister to alcoholics, drug addicts, and others who are hard to love.
... for hymn writers and travelling preachers.
... for the people of Bermuda who celebrate Bermuda Day today.
... for the five people who were killed and another seriously injured in a collision involving a lorry and a car on the M6 in Staffordshire and for all victims of road traffic accidents. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "How to Pray" by John Wesley:
Settle this in your heart, that the mere work done profits nothing. There is no power to save but in the Spirit of God, no merit but in the blood of Christ. Consequently, even what God ordains conveys no grace to the soul if you do not trust in him alone. On the other hand, he that does truly trust in him cannot fall short of the grace of God, even though he were cut off from every outward ordinance or shut up in the centre of the earth.
In using all means, seek God alone. In and through every outward thing, look only to the power of His Spirit, and the merits of his son. Beware you do not get stuck in the work itself; if you do, it is all lost labour. Nothing short of God can satisfy your soul. Therefore, fix on him in all, and though all, and above all. For all the power, and all the merit is of him alone.
Remember also to use all means as means, as ordained, not for their own sake, but for the renewal of your soul in righteousness and true holiness. If, therefore, they actually tend to this, that is well; but if not, they are dung and dross.
Lord God, who inspired your servants John and Charles Wesley with burning zeal for the sanctification of souls, and endowed them with eloquence in speech and song: kindle in your Church, we entreat you, such fervour, that those whose faith has cooled may be warmed, and those who have not known Christ may turn to him and be saved; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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