Seventeen years ago, Ron and I took our family to a new church, Vineyard Fellowship. We had recently moved to a new town and were looking for a new church home.
We had not had a great week. In fact, we had been fighting for a few days. One of those marriage fights where you keep picking up new offenses and arguing over so much stuff that you forget what the original fight was even about.
We walked into the church and sat with Ron at one end of the pew, me at the other, and all seven children between us.
We participated in worship and then sat in preparation for the sermon.
(I need to interject that the only concert we ever went to while we dated was James Taylor.)
Back to the church …
The pastor got up to preach. He said he wanted to play a song that illustrated his sermon. James Taylor’s voice came over the sound system singing “You’ve Got a Friend”.
After a few moments, Ron got up, slipped out of the pew, walked around to the center aisle, and came up to stand next to me. He held out his hand and quietly asked, “May I have this dance?”
I stood. Together we went to the very back of the church where only the pastor on the platform could see us. We slowed danced to the rest of the song. While we danced, we talked. Ron asked my forgiveness. I gave it. I asked his forgiveness. He gave it. God did a work in us in the back of that church as we danced, arm in arm, to James Taylor.
Then we sat down, in the pew right next to each other. We had no idea if they would ever let us back inside the church after what we did that morning!
After the service, the pastor came up and handed us the James Taylor CD. “I’m not sure what that was all about, but it was clear God was doing a work in you two. Here, you should keep this. And play it often,” he said. “And I hope you come back next week week.”
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:9-17 | NIV Emphasis mine.