Wesley Wednesday May 07, 2014

Wesley Wednesday May 07, 2014

 

I doubt many of us know much about the rich history of the movement from which The Turning Pointe was born.  We are Wesleyan in theology as part of the United Methodist Church.  John Wesley was an Anglican priest, devoted pastor, part-time hymn-writer (his brother Charles is much better known for hymn writing than John is), and in general a crazy person.  John was crazy in the sense of getting up before dawn to pray, giving literally everything he had away, (including a sizable revenue from publishing books and tracts), and also because John believed in wild, massive, extended grace.  John Wesley was the kind of crazy I hope to attain, one day.

What kind of man was he?  I want to show you on 'Wesley Wednesdays" a bit more of him - to reveal to you what kind of incredible shoulders we stand on in our tradition.  Here is an example.  Wesley is discussing the very difficult and hot-button topic of his day: slavery:

Are you a human?  Then you should have an human heart.  But have you indeed?  What is your heart made of?  Is there no such principle as Compassion there?  Do you never feel another's pain?  Have you no Sympathy?  No sense of human woe?  No pity for the miserable?  When you saw the flowing eyes, the heaving breasts, or the bleeding sides and tortured limbs of your fellow-creatures, were you a stone, or a brute?  Did you look upon them with the eyes of a tiger?  When you squeezed the agonizing creatures down in the ship, or when you threw their poor mangled remains into the sea, had you no relenting?  Did not one tear drop from your eye, one sigh escape from your breast?  Do you feel no relenting now?  If you do not, you must go on, till the measure of your iniquities is full.  Then will the Great GOD deal with You, as you have dealt with them, and require all their blood at your hands.  -- Thoughts Upon Slavery (1774).

I hope you can sense the anguish Wesley felt for those enslaved, and how willing he was to take the position (not popular in his day) which sided with the weak and the suffering.  I find myself filled with admiration and pride that our leader and forebear in faith spoke with such eloquence and forcefulness.  

Surely John Wesley would encourage us, his spiritual children, to find some cause or mission in our day that brings us to similar passion and courage.  As we get to know John Wesley better, I believe we will find him to be a great source of encouragement and hope.  We come from good stock.  No, we come from great stock.  

Well, that's about all, in hindsight.

 

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