Sermon Illustrations

AN ATTACK OF CONSCIENCE

This was the story in MYFOX Boston from Friday 15 April 2011

41 years after the murder of 15 year old John McCabe of Tewksbury, three suspects finally go before the judge. 60-year-old Walter Shelley, of Tewksbury, and 57-year-old Michael Ferreira of Salem. New Hampshire are now charged with murder. 59-year-old Allan Edward Brown of Londonderry, New Hampshire charged with manslaughter.

McCabe’s elderly parents looked on, knowing they never stopped pushing police to arrest their son’s killers. Bill McCabe, John’s father, says, "No I never gave up. I kept calling I’m guessing I probably made a thousand calls in the last 41 and a half years." Evelyn McCabe, John’s mother, says, "I prayed every single night and I wear my medals every single day and I ask God. I think it had to be solved."

In September of 1969, McCabe’s body was found in a vacant lot off Maple Street in Lowell. He’d been tied with rope linking his wrist ankles and neck. Adhesive tape covered his eyes and mouth. He was strangled, police believe, trying to free himself.

Police say it was Brown who had an attack of conscience all this time later. He finally confessed to details known only to the killers after Lowell detectives revisited the case.

He had an attack of conscience. Interesting wording. God can and will use your conscience to ruin a party, to take your sleep away, to disturb your thoughts, to unsettle your boat, to trouble your waters, to foul your pleasures, to ruin your appetite. I wonder how many people have committed adultery but their conscience caused them to hate every minute of it. A trouble conscience is a sign of the love of God.

God will use your conscience and bring you back to the place your first left the road.

(From a sermon by Maurice McCarthy, The Journey Back Home, 5/9/2011)

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