Jack Benny, actor and comedian from a previous generation and major influence on the sitcom genre of today, portrayed himself on stage as cheap, petty, and vain. One of the most famous episodes broadcast was him being accosted by a mugger demanding his money or his life. Jack paused, and the studio audience – knowing his skinflint character – began laughing. When the robber repeated his demand, Benny snapped back, “I’m thinking it over!”

In real life, however, Jack Benny was anything but cheap. Spying his future wife for the first time, he was so love stricken that he couldn’t even gather up the courage to ask her out on a date. Instead, he had one rose sent to her every day. After a few weeks, she asked Jack why he was doing it. Stammering and stuttering, he eventually got the words out, “Would you go out with me?” Her answer was a quick “yes.” For each and every day of their forty-seven year marriage, Jack had a rose delivered to her. When Jack died, the day following his funeral the doorbell sounded at the Benny residence as the local florist deliveryman was accomplishing his daily duty of delivering a rose. With a grateful look, Mrs. Benny told the deliveryman, “This won’t be necessary any longer – you see, Jack died.” The deliveryman responded, “You don’t know, do you? Mr. Benny made arrangements for you to receive a daily rose for the rest of your life.”

As great as that love story is, it doesn’t begin to compare with the love demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ. The Psalmist declared, “How priceless is your unfailing love O Lord.” The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans that “God demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And if that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, Ephesians 2 tells us, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy (love), made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace that you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness (love) to us in Christ Jesus.” That’s more than love lasting a lifetime – that’s love for all time and eternity!

With Valentine’s Day highlighting the month of February and each of us demonstrating our love to our sweethearts, be mindful of the greatest love story of all and the joy of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill