I planned a sermon on God’s love that Wednesday evening twelve years ago. Before I started my sermon, I noticed a new couple who sat about midway down the church, on the left side pews. Just by looking at the couple one could tell that they did not know what to expect that evening. Their eyes were in sort of bewilderment, a stage we find a lot of visitors in who have never attended church before. This couple, the bewildered and silent couple who never had been to a church before, would prove that night just what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do internally.
After we had finished singing in the praise and worship segment, the Overseer took the microphone and introduced me as the night’s speaker. I took up my position in behind the sacred lectern and introduced my sermon. God’s love! I began to preach out of 1st John 4. I told of how God was so in love with His creation that He sent His only begotten into the world to save it. I told of how Christ volunteered to be our Savior and how much love He took with Him to that ole rugged cross. I told of the Holy Spirit within the apostles that allowed them to see humanity in a more loving spiritual light and how true love doesn’t look to one self always, that it looks to the one who is the object of that love. I came to a close saying, if God in all of HIs divine trinity, loved us that much then ought we not love one another? I then closed the sermon and asked the musicians to play and sing lightly while I did an alter call.
What happened next is the sweetest, most encouraging moment one can ever have in the ministry. I remember it like yesterday with the events seemingly in slow motion. I asked if their was anyone there who thought they would like to make a public confession of belief in Christ by coming forward to the altar. I did not stare directly at the couple for the fear that they may feel like they are put on the spot. What they did, however, caught my attention along with the 80 or so in attendance that night. The couple had no direct route to the front of the church. If they wanted to get up there, the best way for them to do it was to ask those to the right of them if they might allow them to get around someway. None of that happened. The call of love had their hearts so wanting to profess Christ that they literally jumped the people to their right and landed in the aisle. They ran to the altar with tears in their eyes showing God’s touch in a manner that could only be genuine. They gave their hearts to the Lord that night with tears of joy in their eyes having thrown what they looked like to the wind.
I believe that we all could learn a valuable lesson from these two and their honest and sincere actions. It wasn’t my preaching, per say, that caused them to jump and run to the altar. It was their hearts and how they genuinely accepted the Word that night. We should often revisit in memory the first time we felt God’s love within us and how warm and worry free we were. If we can throw our caution to the wind and just bask in the light of God’s love in our mind, we too could be as genuine as these blessed children of God. Let us always be reminded of His love!
- Rev. Marvin Cox, Jr.