July 24, 2023
Aldersgate Street, London
Read Psalm 130
"I felt my heart strangely warmed." John Wesley
I first want to apologize for the haphazard postings of these daily devotions. The internet connections have not been as reliable or consistent in our travels as I expected.
John and Charles Wesley both had "Aldersgate" experiences. Charles on May 21, 1738 and John on May 24, 1738. Some people call these conversion experiences, others call these confirmation experiences.
Both stories find their roots in John and Charles both searching for the complete trust in God's grace - not as knowledge, but something deeper and more profound. The grace that calms our fears and gives us that firm foundation of God's unwavering, unconditional presence in our lives. They both found that assurance while attending Bible studies with their Moravian brothers.
John's story has more details as he kept meticulous journals. His day, May 24, 1738 began in Bible study and prayer. Later in the day he attended St. Paul's Cathedral for Evensong (an afternoon worship) where he was feeling his heart stirred. Following prayers he headed to the evening Bible study on Aldersgate Street and while reading Martin Luther's preface to the book of Romans, he felt God's presence in a new way - his heart warmed. It was a moment in time that stayed with him the rest of his life.
I suspect that we each have moments in our lives that are markers. Important experiences that stay with us. Today, take a moment and think of those moments that were "faith" moments for you. Was it around the campfire at church camp? Vacation Bible School? a Sunday School teacher? serving a meal to the homeless? visiting someone who is lonely? Reading scripture early in the morning? A friend's witness? a funeral? Confirmation? Baptism? All of these moments make up our lives and offer us our unique and special relationship with God.
Prayer: O God, may we continue to be open to your Holy Spirit's stirring of our hearts. Amen.