Go in love is this year’s theme at the Guild. I have a story that comes from a Sunday school ministry in the part of New York City that has been rated the “most likely place to get killed.” Pastor Bill Wilson has been stabbed twice, shot at, and had a member of his team killed: He tells this story,
One Puerto Rican lady, after getting saved in church, came to me with an urgent request. She didn’t speak a word of English, so she told me through an interpreter, “I want to do something for God, please.”
“I don’t know what you can do,” I answered.
“Please, let me do something,” she said in Spanish.
“Okay. I’ll put you on a bus. Ride a different bus every week and just love the kids.”
So every week she rode a different bus—we have fifty of them which go around the neighbourhoods picking up kids on a Sunday afternoon for Sunday school. —and loved the children. She would find the worst-looking kid on the bus, put him on her lap, and whisper over and over the only words she had learned in English: “I love you. Jesus loves you.”
After several months, she became attached to one little boy in particular. “I don’t want to change buses anymore. I want to stay on this one bus,” she said.
The boy didn’t speak. He came to Sunday school every week with his sister and sat on the woman’s lap, but he never made a sound. Each week she would tell him all the way to Sunday school and all the way home, “I love you and Jesus loves you.”
One day, to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, “I—I love you, too.” Then he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug.
That was 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon. At 6:30 that night, the boy was found dead in a garbage bag under a fire escape. His mother had beaten him to death and thrown his body in the trash.
“I love you and Jesus loves you.” Those were some of the last words he heard in his short life—from the lips of a Puerto Rican woman who could barely speak English.
Who among us is qualified to minister? Who among us even knows what to do? Not you; not me. But I ran to an altar once, and I got some fire and just went.
So did this woman who couldn’t speak English. And so can you.
If you want to make a real difference in this world, you do not have to invent some amazing contraption, you do not need to come up with a theory on everything. You do not need a university degree or a bank account that looks like a telephone number. All you need to do is love.
Will your heart get broken?
Many times, I’m afraid.
Will it heal, in the power of God it will.
Will you love again?
With God’s help you will.
God wants to bless each one of us with his gift of love so that we can go out and tow many stranded souls into his kingdom.
Before Paul sets out his wonderful hymn of love, he says to the Corinthians, “eagerly desire the better gifts for now I will show you the better way.” If you want the gift of love, you have to earnestly seek it, you have to ask God for it, you have to pray that God will bless you with that gift. If Kinnoull is going to be known as the church which is full of God’s love we need to ask God to bless it with the gift of love, divine love, most excellent love. When you get to the pearly gates and Peter welcomes you in do you want to be able to say, well, I was a member of a church with a beautiful stained glass window, or I was a member of a church that went out and loved people into the kingdom of God? Which do you think Peter will appreciate more?