Loving One Who Loves God
February is the month of love. You see reminders everywhere, with television ads and brick-and-mortar store banners providing the every-friendly reminders that now is the time to show how much you care for that special someone.
There is, though, something special about being in love with that special someone. When one thinks about Jonathan Edwards (1703-58), though few do in our day, they usually think of that stern, puritanical preacher whose famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” graced the American literature books of our youth. What few know about Edwards is that he was a man who loved deeply. The colonial minster and theologian Jonathan Edwards had a life-long love affair for his wife Sarah. Edwards, though, was a man deeply in love, first with God and a close second with Sarah. When he first saw thirteen-year-old Sarah (thirteen-year-olds were a lot older in those days!), the twenty-year-old Jonathan enthused: “They say there is a young lady in [New-Haven] who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for any thing, except to meditate on him—that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight for ever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction.” (Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1 [Banner of Truth Trust, 1974], lxxxi).
Sarah’s love for God attracted Jonathan to her: “She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do any thing wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her” (Works of Jonathan Edwards, lxxxi–lxxxii). While Edwards must have found Sarah physically attractive (she was described by others as uncommonly attractive) and enjoyed the intellectual companionship of this daughter of one of the founders of Yale College, it was this supreme love for God which moved him.
Jonathan and Sarah Edwards provide a much-needed example to Christian couples today, as well as a helpful antidote to the superficial and selfish motivations for “falling in love.” Because their love for each other flowed out of their love for God, their love was not easily dampened because one or the other displayed their imperfections or because an attractive interloper might seek to malign their relationship. A couple deeply in love with God will have a marriage able to sustain whatever difficulties or temptations they face.
Jonathan and Sarah’s marriage illustrates the type of picture the apostle Paul used in Ephesians 5:22-33 of Christ and his church. By God’s grace, may our marriages do likewise.
Cornerstone’s 25th Anniversary
On March 4, 2018, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cornerstone. Dr. Chad Brand will be the speaker for the morning worship service.
Please call the church office if you have the names and addresses or an email address of former members, friends, and family you would like to invite.
A covered dish lunch will follow the service. Bring your favorite dishes for this time of fellowship. As many visitors will be invited, please prepare accordingly. Chicken, bread and beverages will be provided.
–United Ministries continues to distribute food to needy families in our community. Cornerstone is asked to provide flour, sugar and peanut butter. Remember to pick-up one or more of these items the next time you are in the grocery store.
–Don’t forget to save empty inkjet printer cartridges, old cell phones, Campbell Soup and Tyson Chicken labels, and Box Tops for Education found on General Mills products for Laurens Academy.
–The Laurens Baptist Association helps families in need and in crisis situations. We can help by donating the requested items each month. Crisis Center needs for February are spaghetti sauce and noodles, and macaroni and cheese. Baskets are outside the church office for collection of monthly project items
Extended Sunday Session – March 11
Women on Mission
The group will meet on Monday, February 19, at 7:00 pm. The ladies will continue in the study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, entitled “Lies Women Believe: and the Truth that Sets Them Free.” This will also be the final day to contribute to the Piedmont Women’s Center as part of the Sanctity of Life project.
9 Rachel Rodekohr
16 Sara Sears
21 Eric Burrow
21 Ethan Kirk
21 Linda Murphy
28 Bobby Smith
Updates from missionary friends:
• John Mark and Sara Sheppard in Liberia http://sheppardsmissions.org/john-markandsara.html or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Peter and Sharon McMillan in Madrid, Spain psmcmillan.blogspot.com
•Craig and Ava Cook in Spain: email the Cooks at email@example.com and ask to be included on their email newsletter list.
The monthly financial reports will be on the table in the narthex on Wednesdays after
the first of each month. The reports are also available in the church office at any time.