Thanks to Dick Skeet for our photo or meme for today.
I don’t know about you but my hands are gone raw from all the washing, so much so, that I’ve resorted to using hand cream.
The meme possibly won’t mean a lot to our non-methodist readers, but it refers to a much waited for moment in John Wesley’s life. He had been methodical in his faith, and in his prayer, and bible study, and seeking to help others for many years, but he did not feel that he had the depth of faith that others had. It was on a ship en route between England and the Americas, during a storm when he was afraid, that he was much impressed by the Moravians who kept their faith by singing hymns. When back on solid ground in England, he was worried if he should continue preaching, becuase he did not have enough faith. On the 5th March, he met their leader Peter Bohler who told him to “Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”
Here is an extract from his journal:-
Saturday, March 4.—I found my brother at Oxford, recovering from his pleurisy; and with him Peter Bohler; by whom, in the hand of the great God, I was, on Sunday, the fifth, clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved. Immediately it struck into my mind, “Leave off preaching. How can you preach to others, who have not faith yourself?” I asked Bohler whether he thought I should leave it off or not. He answered, “By no means.” I asked, “But what can I preach?” He said, “Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.”
It was later on the 24th May, the day we call Aldersgate Day that John came to faith, its a very simple story, but lovely in its own way.
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 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.
I like that he went “very unwillingly”, there has often been moments, when i;ve had to go to meetings that I didn’t want to go to, that I’ve gone “very unwillingly”. Now i have a hireath in wanting to go out.
So now you know where the phrase “strangely warmed” came from. John Wesley went on to start many many Methodist Societies across the country and travelled extensively throughout the country, establishing chapels, schools, writing pamphlets, and much much more, and Methodists have been strangely warming Quiche ever since.
Keep washing your hands folks, keep safe, keep caring, keep praying, and where necessary keep rubbing in the hand cream.
Every Blessing, Phil