Based on Hebrews 10: 11-14, 19-25
By Don Sheffel, Lay Servant
Every Priest goes to work at the alter each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in year out and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything needing to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. So friends we can now - without hesitation - walk right up to God, into the Holy Place. Jesus cleared the way by the blood of His sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The curtain into gods presence is his body.
So let us do it--full of belief, confident that we are presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on especially as we see the big Day approaching
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Let us relive our own Aldersgate moment; the instant that a dynamic connection occurs between what we believe about God in our heads and what we experience about God in our emotions. This is the moment when we feel sure that God loves us! We are accepted as God's children, the recipients of God's forgiveness for all of our sins; that nothing in this world or the next can separate us from God's love.
John Wesley was ordained a deacon in the Church of England September 18, 1725 and accompanied by three other members of the Holy club left England October 14, 1735 as missionaries to convert the heathens in the new colony of Georgia. They were not very successful and returned to England December 22,1737. May 24,1738 Wesley attended a meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, and as he heard a reading from Luther's preface to the epistle to the Romans , felt his heart strangely warmed. He had a sense that God loved him, even him. Truly a life changing feeling that Christ had taken away his sins and saved him from the law of sin and death. Wesley was the son of a minister and raised in a deeply religious household but the dynamic connection to God made at Aldersgate was new to him.
Wesley preached his last sermon February 23, 1791 and died March 2, 1791. Aldersgate taught him that God's Holy Spirit lives in us, walks with us and guides us every moment and we are loved and forgiven.
Wesley did not intend to start a new denomination but to demonstrate a new way to teach and preach. He went out into the countryside and preached to the poor coal miners who came straight from the mines, clothing streaked with coal dust and April 2, 1739 he preached to 3000 in the out of doors near Bristol, England. In 1746 he established the first dispensary for medicine available to England's poor. In America he advised his Lay Speakers to read and study constantly as they rode and taught their circuits so that they could incorporate the latest thoughts in their ministries. Methodism was and is a constantly evolving way of hearing, teaching and loving God and each other as our understanding of the Divine evolves.
Please take a few moments and relive your own Aldersgate moment. Where were you. Were you in a church, a class, with friends, reading your bible, enjoying a sunrise or sunset or touched by a breeze on a warm afternoon. Perhaps you were listening to beautiful music. I was in the First Methodist Church in Bakersfield, California listening to my friend Reverend John Corson speak many years ago. Personally I felt that I had met the risen Lord; that I was and am Loved, forgiven and treasured as a child of the Divine I Am. There is nothing that I can do about this love affair. God Loves Us
I leave you with this prayer and quotation from Wesley...
O God of peace, we turn aside from an unquiet world; seeking rest for our spirits and light for our thoughts. We bring our work to be sanctified, our wounds to be healed, our sins to be forgiven, our hopes to be renewed, our better selves to be strengthened. O Thou, in whom there is harmony, draw us to Thyself, and silence the discords of our anxious lives. Thou in whom all are one, take us out of the loneliness of self, and fill us with the fullness of Thy truth and love. Thou whose greatness is beyond our highest praise, lift us above our inadequacies and our daily imperfections; send us visions of the love that is in Thee and of the good that may be in us. In Christ’s spirit we pray. Amen.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can
In all the way you can, in all the places you can
At all the times you can, to all the people you can
As long as you ever can
Diana Hunter is our Senior Pastor;