Summary: It’s only when I come to Him that I find the strength to deal with the events & crises of my life.

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A. In last week’s sermon we opened the Book of Revelation to that verse where Jesus is called the Root & bright Morning Star. This morning we’re going to look at a very tender & moving passage in the Gospel of Matthew that shows Jesus as a rejected lover.

Have you ever been rejected by someone you loved? Have you ever felt the pain & emptiness of unrequited love?

ILL. Dennis Slaughter, minister of Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, once told about the first great love of his life. And I am sure that he told it with a smile on his face & a twinkle in his eye. Listen to his story.

"It was the summer of 1949, & as a 8th-grade boy I had fallen hopelessly in love with Nancy, one of my classmates. Somehow I had managed to get a picture of her & I took that picture with me to Boy Scout Camp. At camp most of the guys had girlfriends & we spent a lot of time looking at our pictures & daydreaming. I daydreamed what it would be like to hold Nancy in my arms & to whisper sweet little nothings in her ears. My love for her was deep, oh so deep.

"Then I came home from camp & again & again invited Nancy to go with me to various activities. She did go a few times, but not all that often. And by time school started again in the fall, I knew the pain of rejected love.

"But it wasn’t long until another classmate, Violet, became the real love of my life. She & I dated all through high school, & after we graduated, Violet & I were married. But Nancy didn’t get married for a long time. She remained single, & I thought probably it was because she had finally realized her great mistake in losing me.

"The years passed, & from some of our classmates I learned that Nancy had finally married & was living in Boston. Since Violet & I were planning on a trip to New England I wrote her, & the end result was that we made arrangements for a stopover in Boston to visit Nancy & her new husband.

"I hadn’t seen Nancy for well over 20 years. We flew to Boston & Nancy was to meet us at the airport. I thought about what our meeting would be like. I imagined how Nancy, down deep in her heart, might want to come running to me & throw her arms around me saying, `Oh, Dennis, I made a terrible mistake. I should have loved you. But now it’s too late, & my life is ruined.’ And I wondered if she would be able to control her emotions.

"`But,’ Dennis says, `nothing like that happened at all. In fact it was a little awkward at first as we became reacquainted. Then we went to a restaurant & soon were reminiscing about our childhood & school experiences. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me, so I asked her, `Nancy, do you remember the summer of 1949?’ And she said, `What?’ "I said, `The summer of 1949.’ `Not really,’ she said. `What happened in the summer of 1949?’

"I said, `That’s the summer after we were in the 8th grade & everybody was talking about what an item we were & how we were just made for each other, & all that kind of stuff.’ `Really?’ she said. `In the summer of 1949?’

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