Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 24th May 2022: Charles and John Wesley

Mission Jesus Evangelist Luke 5

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 5

John Wesley

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats.... He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!’ For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; .... Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’ When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Charles and John Wesley who lived in the 18th century. They were both educated at Christ Church Oxford, and both becane ordained. After a failed missionary expedition to Georgia in American they returned to England. At Pentecost in 1738 Charles had a spiritual exerience that was to change his life. He was eventually to write some six to seven thousand hymns, many of which are still loved today.

Shortly after Charles' conversion experience, John himself had a similar experience. Their emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life and on their faith rather than good works led them eventually to break away from the Church of England. John Wesley took to the countryside, preaching to thousands in fields. It's estimated that he rode over 250,000 miles on horseback and preached over 40,000 sermons. Everywhere they went the brothers left small prayer and bible study groups which were to become the core of the worldwide Methodist Church, that today numbers some 50 million people.

Charles and John Wesley reminds us that we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and not try to live and work as Christians in our own strength. We also need to continue learning, and we need to teach others about our faith.


Heavenly Father,
You call us to faith
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
May we continue to rely on You
to carry out the work You give us to do,
rather than trying to go it alone.
May we also keep learning
about our faith,
and seek to pass it on to others.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up these hymns, written by Charles Wesley:

or find out more about John Wesley:

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