A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, March 2, 2009

Methodists Die Well

Today is the death anniversary of the 18th century founder of Methodism, John Wesley (March 2, 1791.)

Every year for confirmation classes (7th graders preparing for church membership) I do something a bit goofy. At odd times, I'll ask the class, "When was John Wesley born?" And because they have done this a zillion times, they will shout out, "June 17, 1703!!!!!!"

Yes, they even know the month and day! I'm now asking them if they know how much he weighed at birth and the name of the doctor who delivered him. I like to have fun at confirmation!

Since today is Wesley's death anniversary, I think it's important to remember his last words which he said twice. "The best of all is God is with us."

In the 1760s, Wesley began publishing a magazine that focused on death stories of Methodists - a strange niche to fill! But it became popular in England because these stories were testimonies of how Methodists died with an assurance that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior and their sins were forgiven. The phrase, "Methodists die well" became a well known phrase during the early years of our Methodist movement history.

One of the things that Methodism accentuates is the assurance we can have that in any given moment nothing can separate from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Nothing. Not even death.

No comments: