Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aldersgate 2

In my previous blog, I said that I would preach on May 24th on John Wesley's Aldersgate experience. On May 24th 1738, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, had a heart-warming experience. I asked what it means for us.

Some say that this was John Wesley's conversion. But, how can we call it conversion when Wesley has been preaching, teaching and living the Christian faith all his life? Now, in his mid-thirties, it seems strange to say that now he comes to Christ after all his previous life in faith. And yet, something does change for Wesley. From here on, he moves out with more courage, often running into resistance from Anglican Church authorities.

He says: "My heart was strangely warmed." I think of this this way. For years, John Wesley thought the right thing in his head, and he did the right things with his hands in ministry. But, his heart was not in it. He, who believed mightily in human effort, now came to a point after years of searching where he received the peace that he wanted. Now, not only were his hands and head involved in ministry, but also his heart.

Some of us Christian Methodists are guilty of giving our heads and our hands to the work of faith while keeping our hearts at bay.

What about you? Is your heart in your faith? Is your heart (love) in what you're believing and doing for Christ?

At Bethel, our hearts are being "strangely warmed" by God's Holy Spirit all the time. Come and see.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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