Plucking Brands from the Burning
The speaker at our service in Dundonald Methodist yesterday, reminded us that today the 9th February, 2009 is the 300th anniversary of the fire that ravaged Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, and very nearly deprived the world of John Wesley, the founder of what became known as Methodism, then a mere 5 years old.
His mother Suzanna famously described him as "a brand plucked from the burning" and had a strong sense that God had a particular purpose for his life.
My Arminian theology causes me to ask whether John Wesley's subsequent life in ministry, was a fulfiment of God's purposes, or a product of Suzanna's sense of God's purpose, or a complex combination of both.
Certainly the role of Suzanna in the lives of her two most famous children cannot be gainsaid, and, in the light of this week-end's 11plus results, and what I wrote yesterday, it emphasizes the role that key adults can have in the subsequent development of children.
The key is not individual events such as rectory fires or exam results, but the ongoing, prayerful affirmation and guidance of these young lives which are overflowing with potential.