Aldersgate – What a name!
A few days ago, I was at a non-Methodist pastors’ meeting where someone asked me: Joseph, which church are you pastor at? I replied: Aldersgate United Methodist. The person asked: Which church did you say? I repeated the name by spelling it. This was not the first time that I had witnessed this amazement. Aldersgate, no doubt is an obscure place but many times some of the greatest movements and leaders have come from such places. Think, for example, of Saint Francis Assisi who came from a small little town in Italy. Anybody not familiar with the Methodist Church’s history would wonder at a name like Aldersgate for a church.
Very few know that Aldersgate is name of a street in London, England – the country from where the founder of Methodism – John Wesley – came and where the Methodist Movement started. For Wesley and his movement this place held a great significance. It was at a prayer meeting held at Aldersgate Street on the evening of May 24, 1738 where Wesley, not sure of his salvation yet, had a personal experience. In his own words:
“I felt my heart strangely warmed and I felt that I did trust in Christ, in him
alone for salvation, and that he had saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Knowing of this fact, makes me say: What an appropriate name for a Methodist Church or any church! Isn’t a church supposed to be a place where our heart should feel warmth of God’s presence and love and we be able to say proudly what Wesley said?
May it be so for all those, members or non-members who worship at Aldersgate!
Answering Your Own Prayer
A farmer whose barns were abundantly stocked with corn, made a habit of praying that all those in need would find help. Yet when anyone asked for part of his surplus, he invariably said he had none to spare.
After such a prayer one evening his young son said to him “Father, I wish I had your corn.”
“Whatever for?” asked the puzzled farmer.
“So, I could answer your prayer,” came the innocent reply.