Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Think Globally, Act Locally

Plaque at Fort Frederica
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Photo by Linda McCloud+

John and Charles Wesley were the fifteenth and eighteenth children, respectively, born to The Rev. Samuel and Susannah Wesley. John's years were 1703 to 1791. Charles lived from 1708 to 1788. John was ordained Anglican Priest in 1728; Charles' ordination followed in 1735. Both attended Oxford University and were co-founders of the "Holy Club." They lived very disciplined lives and were derisively called "Methodists."

In 1735 John and Charles came to Georgia with General Oglethorpe as missionaries for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Charles returned to England in 1736. John stayed in Georgia for two years, but having alienated some of the colonists with his preaching against slavery and gin, he returned to England.

On May 21, 1738, Charles had an experience of conversion, and three days later on May 24, John also had a conversion experience. This was the famous meeting at Aldersgate Street where his heart was "strangely warmed."

John and Charles Wesley died priests of the Church of England, but John's followers separated and formed the "Wesleyan Methodists." During their lifetimes, they had itinerant ministries and preached in places other than churches.

Charles eventually settled in London and wrote more than 5,500 hymns. Twenty of those hymns are in The Hymnal 1982. Some of my favorites are "Christ, whose glory fills the skies"; "Lo! He comes, with clouds descending"; "Come, thou long expected Jesus"; "Hark! the herald angels sing"; "Jesus Christ is risen today"; "Hail the day that sees him rise"; "O for a thousand tongues"; and "Love divine, all loves excelling."

I find the sheer volume of their work astonishing. Maybe there is something about disciplined living that lends itself to productivity. When we do the best we can with what we have where we are, the world finds out about it.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

1 comment:

CHT said...

Well, thanks, I think:-) A disciplined life... Where do you start? How do you fold it in, what do you throw out? Does it mean doing the same thing every day? Does it mean doing the same thing every week? Which area of your life do you overhaul first? Oh the questions, the questions this stirs. I feel as if God has left me yet another post it note in your message. Lest, I forget She reminds me. Thanks, Carlene