Summary: Caught with a hand in the cookie jar. It can happen to those within the walls of the church just as the one who runs with the ways of the world.
Sermon Title: Guilty as Charged
Text: Ephesians 2:1-10
Date: August 17,2003
In typical fashion, the young husband and father rushed out the door and on his way out gave his wife and young child a kiss and grabbed the sack lunch on the counter by the back door of his house. He jumped into his car and before long the projectile was hurtling down the Inter State in Grand Prix style.
He wasn’t the only one traveling well over the speed limit, after all this was the way each weekday morning began. As he came over the hill, there off to the side was the highway patrolman. There would be no excuses this morning. As he zipped by the speed trap in the company of at least twenty others, he watched in the rear view mirror as the patrolman picked up his microphone and soon after that the blue flashing lights began their pulsating warning. Twenty cars speeding along, which will be the one this morning?
It didn’t take long for him to realize that the highway patrolman picked out his sharp little red coupe and as he pulled over he began to think about being late for work, the financial consequences as well as what excuses he might offer up. After he had pulled over, he watched as the patrolman walked up to the drivers side of his car, the creases of his freshly starched uniform barely moving as he drew closer. Looking out from over his sunglasses the patrolman asked for his driver’s license. “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
He quickly ignored the question and explained that he was running late, and after all he wasn’t going any faster then any one else, in fact this seemed to be the way things were every morning. Nobody follows the speed laws exactly anymore did they?
Son, I am not going to give you a ticket this morning, but I will give you a warning and tell you that you need to slow down. I clocked you at 25 over and in this state that qualifies for reckless driving. I’m giving you this break and hope that you learn a lesson, you see not to far from this very spot several years ago, a young man was obeying the speed limit but the drivers around him showed total disregard. The accident that followed due to their recklessness caused him to lose his life although he wasn’t guilty of a thing. That young man was my son. Slow down and have a nice day. The officer returned the young man’s license and the walked to the patrol car, got in, turned off the lights and merged into the traffic and disappeared over the next hill.
The remainder of his ride to work was uneventful but within the speed limit. Nothing had ever touched him so deeply. Nothing had ever had such a tremendous impact on him. All of the facts and figures, grizzly pictures on the evening news had slowed him down before, but this morning a pact was made, a pact was kept and he watched his driving from that point forward. What a difference, nothing that he had done, but the death of an innocent young man and the forgiveness and grace of another.
Let us look at one of the greatest accounts of forgiveness found in: