On May 24, 1738 John Wesley felt his heart strangely warmed while visiting a Christian meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. Wesley wrote of that experience,
I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
Methodists and other evangelicals frequently look back on that event as a model of Christian conversion, an experience that for some defines the essence of being a real Christian. For Wesley, of course, it wasn’t one experience that determined whether one was a real Christian. The whole life of a Christian is marked by the love of God and neighbor, from the core of one’s being to every outward act.
Continue reading “On Aldergate’s Legacy”
The Suffering Servant in the New Testament
In its description of Jesus, 1 Peter 2:22-25 draws extensively from the image of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 52:13–53:12.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 2:22–25
Peter is not alone in is appraisal of Jesus.
Continue reading “Isaiah’s Suffering Servant in 1 Peter 2”
I do not remember many of the sermons I heard as a teenager. I only remember one, a message on Isaiah 6:1-8.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Continue reading “The Theophany in Isaiah 6”
No one really expected the crucified messiah to rise from the dead. By all appearances death’s dark power had won. Despair ruled the day, but then God did something far beyond human expectation. The tomb was emptied, the messiah rose, and death was overthrown. Hope lives in our risen Lord.
Is there value is broadcasting a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, either conventionally on television or, in a more contemporary manner, on the internet?
Note that I am not talking about the practice some call “online communion,” in which the remote participants consume their own bread and wine (or whatever they choose to substitute for that) at the appropriate point in the broadcast service. I am only concerned here with the value of watching the service online and participating in the spoken, sung and enacted elements. Only those physically present at the table eat and drink.
Continue reading “Participating in a Broadcast Eucharist”