Samuel Wesley, father of John and Charles Wesley was a rector of the Church of England at Epworth. Some of the members of the community were very hostile toward the Wesley family and ultimately, on February 9, 1709, set fire to the parsonage where they lived.
All of the family escaped except for John. This five-year-old boy had apparently slept through much of the commotion. He awoke and appeared at the window of his room, which was under a section of the roof that was on fire. His dad, in horror, ran back into the house and tried to go upstairs, but the staircase collapsed. It seemed as if all was lost.
A quick thinking man began to create a human ladder and John was rescued moments before the roof collapsed.
Years later, Wesley wondered why he had been saved as a “brand plucked from burning.” That became evident, as he became the founder of Methodism that impacted the world. Where Wesley preached, and Methodist societies were started, the message of the gospel of Jesus transformed individuals.
A Brand plucked from the burning. I appreciate my Wesleyan heritage and give tribute to John and Charles and a host of other men and women who blazed a trail for us. As Jesus tarries, may we effectively and carefully blaze a trail so that those who come behind us have a way paved for them too.