Tuesday, October 24, 2006

John Wesley, Les Miserables

This past weekend I went to visit the Wesley Cathedral in London. It is where the Methodist church got its start with John Wesley and his friends as the founding fathers. He lived in a house immediately next to the chapel and was known to be a well traveled preacher. He would preach most anywhere he could get an audience- often times in an open air environment. They had several artifacts including Wesley's traveling preaching Bible on display. The chapel had very nice stain glass windows. At the time it was built, it had the largest unsupported ceiling in London. The posts originally used for the balcony were former ship masts.

I also had the opportunity to attend the musical Les Miserables www.lesmis.com in the West End. It is the longest running at 21 straight years. Once again, the performance including acting/singing/costumes/set design were all outstanding. The story is quite impactful with Jean Valjean beginning as a criminal, coming to repentence, becoming a respectable citizen, and saving more than one person along the way from peril. He is plagued through out the musical by Javert a police man who wants to put Jean ValJean back in prison for breaking parole despite his demonstrated years of honest upstanding citizenship and service to society.

A parallel can be drawn between ValJean and the follower of Christ. While once a sinner, he came to repetence and became a new man. Javert can be seen as representative of Satan in that he continuously tries to assert Jean ValJean's guilt and insist that "a man such as you can never change." ValJean fights against this idea and clings to righteousness.

John Wesley related pictures: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/aallen30605/album/576460762331437211#page1

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