24th May 2011 Aldersgate day. St John’s college Holy Communion service.
Preacher: Rev Michaela Younson, Worship Leader: Rev Pete Philips
Text: Ruth 4 & John 4: 16-26
The worship service very much focused on the need for personal salvation, the forgiveness of sins through the redeeming work of Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross. This theme sprung from the celebration of John Wesley’s conversion experience. The sermon began by looking at the passage from the book of Ruth and recognising the way in which Ruth, the heroine of the story, is treated and then contrasted this with the account from the Gospel of John and Jesus encounter with the Samaritan women. Where as Ruth is treated in quite a degrading way, the woman at the well is treated with compassion and acceptance by Jesus. Picking up on Jesus words to her about Living Water in v11 the connection was made to John Wesley’s experience of the Holy Spirit. The contrast of life with the Holy Spirit is similar to the contrast between the treatment of Ruth and the woman at the well. The sermon finished by summarising the positive inclusive attributes of the Church that such a move of the Spirit should bring about.
The image connects the idea that the ‘Living Water’ (the Holy Spirit) is closely associated with Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross by using the cross as the gantry for hoisting water from the well. The Dark red clouds speaks of Christ’s death. The woman is representative of the Church.