One of my favorite songs at Christmas (and you do know I love so many of them, don't you?) is "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley. The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, I am sure that you know who they are! They were both born in Epworth, England - John in 1703 and Charles in 1707. John Wesley is considered the father of Methodism and you should know the name of Charles Wesley as the author of thousands of poems that were set to music. (Yes, you read that correctly, thousands of them. I have read 5000 or 6000. Regardless of the number, the quality of his writing is what truly impresses me.)
They were Anglicans of course, but they were called Methodists by their fellow students at Oxford due to their methodical approach to Bible study and daily prayer. (They never left the Anglican church but they were not allowed to preach in Anglican churches due to their evangelical ways. Instead, they preached in barns, private homes and outside, under the trees.)
John and Charles Wesley both traveled to Georgia in 1735 as missionaries! (John in Savannah and Charles at St. Simon's Island.) Things didn't go so well for them though and they returned to England. I wish I could make a film about the Wesley brothers. Then, I would have to do a follow up film about their mother, Susanna! What an amazing woman. It was their mother who educated her children, their father...well, their upbringing mainly fell to Susanna. She had 19 children with nine of them dying as infants.
The son of Charles Wesley is Samuel Wesley and he is known as the English Mozart! He was a child prodigy in music and from what I have read, we owe a lot to him since he was an early fan of Johann Sebastian Bach. (He named his son Samuel Sebastian.)
Oh dear, that will have to be my THIRD movie that I make about the Wesleys!
Now, my friends, I have dozens of things to do before Christmas...and I am sorry if all of these facts might be a bit jumbled in my head!( My advice to you: don't be sick for a whole month before Christmas, it makes things very tough!) Please know that I wish all of you a most joyous Christmas and I am sending you all my best!
Leaving you with one of the verses from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"... LIGHT AND LIFE!
- Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.