August 9 – alternative sermon

This is a piece of the sermon that I left out in order to talk about rhythm and music and dancing…

This abandonment of heart reminds me of John Wesley. He was a preacher’s son and went on to become a preacher himself. He always did what was expected of him and went above and beyond when it came to keeping the ordinances of God. He fasted and prayed and read the bible and served God not only through a local congregation but also through the university he himself had attended.

The Church of England at the time wasn’t very welcoming of the common person. The churches were cold and stuffy, the people were looked down upon if they didn’t come in dressed properly, and the ministers didn’t speak the language of the common people – they were much more comfortable with the fancy words they had learned in their academic pursuits. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the church we described at the beginning of this message… so caught up in itself that it didn’t even realize it was leaving some people out.

John Wesley however soon came into contact with all of those people who had been forgotten. He met miners and workers and orphans and the poor and he realized that they were never going to set foot inside the cathedral on their own initiative. He realized that he was going to have to take the gospel to them.

In spite of the ridicule he would face, in spite of his own hesitations, Wesley decided to go and preach in the open air to these folks. In his journal on April 2, 1739, Wesley writes, “At four in the afternoon I submitted to ‘be more vile,’ and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation . . . .” He stood in the middle of a graveyard… climbed on top of a tombstone in fact so that others could see him, and he began to preach to the miners as they got off of work. In his actions that day, not only was his own heart transformed, but so too were the lives of thousands as the Wesleyan movement truly began.

Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth

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