Happy, Happy Birthday

By Pastor Mark McAdow
Whose birthday is it anyway?  Actually,  today is Chris Walker’s birthday but I was really thinking about another two birthdays – one on each side of his!  Yesterday was called Aldersgate Day,  the day we as Methodist Christians celebrated John Wesley’s spiritual birthday.  It was 285 years ago on May 24, 1738, that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, admitted his need for Jesus as his Savior and Lord.  He was at a religious meeting on Aldersgate Street in London, England, and recorded these now famous words in his journal:

“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans.  About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed.  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.”

This was John Wesley’s encounter with the Holy Spirit, convicting him of his sin and helping him to surrender his life to Jesus, receiving His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.  What a memorable life-changing day!  Just think about it: John Wesley was raised in a pastor’s home with two godly parents, attended worship multiple times a week his entire life, met in a small accountability group called “The Holy Club” at Oxford University, served two years as a missionary to America, and still wasn’t saved.  He was doing all the right things but had not had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit changes everything.  After that encounter, he was never the same.  He had a new passion for Christ and an urgency to share the gospel with all who would listen.  The Methodist movement was born when Wesley was born again!

The other birthday I want to mention is tomorrow!  Though Lary Weeks and Jaxi Hein both have birthdays tomorrow – a few years/decades apart – I want to wish all our faithful Willow View members a very Happy Birthday!  Tomorrow we are 121 years young!  Our church began in downtown Enid on May 26, 1902, as First United Brethren Church.  Last year we had an amazing celebration with a former pastor Mike and Karen Jared with us, greetings from local dignitaries including a proclamation from the mayor, and personal video greetings from Governor Stitt, plus a fabulous lunch and special mementos, too.  This week we received a beautiful abstract water color painting of Willow View donated by the Weegie Williams family painted by Joey Clemens.  It’s on display in the welcome area.

We all have physical birthdays and we all need spiritual birthdays, too.  Do you have both?  This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and Memorial Day weekend, too.  Let’s discover more of the Holy Spirit as we also remember those who sacrificed so much for us.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite people this Sunday.  There’s a place for you at the “new” Willow View!

Love you in Christ,
Pastor Mark

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