The Greatest of These is Love

The Greatest of These is Love

by Clarice Joseph Jackson

(This article is an excerpt from the Jan-Feb 2012 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)

These are the opening words of a poem written on the back of an envelope while waiting in an airport. The plane would take me to a memorial service honoring Ozzie Engelbart, an incredible man. Ozzie was a big bear of a man with the widest smile I have ever seen. His usual greeting was a bear hug that would almost squeeze the breath out of me! I had the blessing of knowing him for over thirty years. He was pastor of the Church of God I attended as a teenager, and the first Christian minister I knew personally. I grew up in an observant Jewish home and was the eldest child of a Rabbi, a Holocaust survivor.

The cultural transition was difficult to say the least. In those early days, I didn’t analyze what it was about Ozzie that attracted people; what quality he possessed that made everyone feel special when they were in his presence. I didn’t know much about spiritual gifts, but I recognized that the love of Messiah was reflected in this man’s life in a special way. And because of his care, his counsel and example, my faith in Messiah was encouraged and strengthened. In the early days of my walk as a believer in Yeshua, Ozzie Engelbart seemed to instinctively recognize the struggle I faced as the only Jewish member of the congregation. For the sake of my faith in the L-rd, I worshipped apart from my family and all that felt familiar and comfortable. There were times when I almost gave up. But this pastor with the heart of a true shepherd wouldn’t let me quit. More than once he left the other ninety-nine of his flock and went after this one little Jewish lamb who tended to wander away from the safety of the fold when discouraged…”

To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 7, click this link:

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