Wesley Sunday

The 1st Sunday of Lent


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John Wesley preaching
Wesley Sunday
1st Sunday in Lent

Picture courtesy of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Utrecht.

John and Charles Wesley, were Anglican clergy who unintentionally founded the Methodist Church. Their compelling insight, that inspired their ministries, preaching and songs, was the boundless grace of God. Their own spiritual lives were forever changed by an experience of grace, and it was not a once only experience, it was an ongoing one and the motivation for the work they did. They wanted others to know the reality of God's grace, the freedom that it brings and the energy it releases for the good of others.

Grace is unmerited, undeserved favour. Grace can not be earned it is a gift. You are saved by grace. There is nothing you can do to earn salvation - no one will ever, no matter how much they do, deserve Christ’s dying for them on the cross. It was a gift. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you accept it.

John and Charles Wesley were early preachers of the message of grace and it was not readily accepted. But we know them by their fruit:


The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, are generally thought of as popular revivalist preachers who brought bright singing and a message of grace to believers in America and England. But historians would argue that their greatest legacy is that, by accepting those who were different and encouraging a spirit of cooperation across denominational lines, their Methodist teaching changed the tone of the political debate in Great Britain during the late 1700s. While countries on the continent were fighting bloody civil wars, England transitioned from monarchy to democracy with relative peace.

A remarkable legacy! Can we say that we have been so "bowled over" by the gift of grace that we are filled with a similar urgency to make it known? Does the reality of grace, undeserved, constantly given, motivate our lives, drive us to bring grace into others lives? The experience of grace that John and Charles had was so real that, even though their lives were not smooth and trouble free, they lived with a constant sense of gratitude which sustained them and moved them to action.

"God loves me just as I am and not as I should be.
He loves me beyond worthiness and unworthiness.
He loves me beyond my fidelity and infidelity.
He loves me in the morning sun and the evening rain
Without caution, regret, limit or breaking point.
No matter what I do, He will not stop loving me.
And this is grace.” Brennan Manning