Aldersgate Day

quotes-while-he-was-describAldersgate Day is celebrated on May 24 (or the Sunday closest) to commemorate the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced assurance of his salvation.  Wesley reluctantly attended a group meeting that evening on Aldersgate Street in London.  As he heard a reading from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, he felt his “heart strangely warmed.”   Wesley wrote in his journal that at about 8:45 p.m. “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.”

Charles Wesley only a few days before had also had a conversion experience in the same place. The building where the meetings took place no longer exists. Aldersgate Street has been shortened by common Methodist usage to simply Aldersgate. The word has come to represent both the place and the experience.

Charles Wesley, John’s brother, wrote this hymn on the occasion of his own heart warming experience.

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Sunday Night Thoughts

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Today is the third Sunday in May.  On this Sunday, way back in 2006, this blog got its start.  It is the blog’s 12th anniversary.  That is hard to believe that I have been doing this that long.  Many, many blogs have come and gone since that time.  Apparently is a perseverance thing.  Sunday Night Thoughts was the very first post and it has been weekly post since then. Very rarely have I missed writing this post, although sometimes it’s been written on Monday and one time as late as a Tuesday.  I love the fact this blog has been around this long – even though I’m not as active in the story telling mode as I once was.  So Happy Blogiversary.

It’s been a bit of a crazy week, but to quote Barry Manilow, “It looks like we made it.”  We had two doctor’s appointments, many bus runs, trying to keep up with crazy growing grass – in the last two weeks the countryside has gone from bare to full out bloom – and so nice.  But the grass is growing like crazy.  Then there was planning for this morning’s service  – which we celebrated Pentecost – and then tonight’s community baccalaureate service – and several other church events – plus Emmaus Road.  Yes, I’m tired.

But in all of this God has been faithful.  Both our worship service this morning and the baccalaureate this evening were wonderful spirit-led services.  And that is worth everything.  This looks like the last really crazy week for the spring – a wedding this weekend and then the local Memorial Day parade.  But looking forward to both of those.

The weather looks to be beautiful over the next week – so running looks to be in the forecast. With all that said, stick a fork in me, I’m done.  Later.

Prayer for Pentecost

cropped-pentecost-front.jpgO God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pentecost

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Day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018)

Acts 2:1-21  •  Psalm 104:24-34, 35b  •  Romans 8:22-27 •  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Romans 8:22-27 New Living Translation (NLT)


This Sunday is Pentecost. In recent years, churches have celebrated Pentecost by throwing a party and in many ways, Pentecost needs to be celebrated, because it really is the birthday of the church universal.  Many Jews were in Jerusalem – 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. It was the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the First Fruits.  Jesus had told his disciples, which numbered at least 120 to tarry (or to stay) in Jerusalem until the promised gift arrived.  During the Feast of Weeks, the disciples were gathered in an upper room (I wonder if it was the same upper room where Jesus had his last meal with the 12,) and they were praying.  As they were praying, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they – as Jesus promised – became witnesses to the power of God and they told their story – in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world.  

For our text today, I want to focus on the last two verses in our reading for today. The reason for celebrating Pentecost in our culture today is because of the work of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to what Paul writes:

26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Have you ever been in the place where you know you are to pray, but you don’t know what or what for?  It is the Holy Spirit who works in our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.  Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that the Holy Spirit would take our random thoughts and pray to the Father – intercede to the Father on our behalf.  Without that, living the Christian life would be difficult at best.  As I think about it, I know that I need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I think all of us need it – because we leak.  Today, as we celebrate Pentecost, let us pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.