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Words of the Week – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
By Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Contributing Writer
Published February 13, 2019

      Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Sr. (File photo)

Scripture: Revelation 2:1-5

As our Church School has led us in the celebration of our heritage during this second month of the year, last year they highlighted the contributions that our ancestors made in the field of music; the universal language. Music has been called the universal language because it transcends race, ethnicities and cultures. The contributions of our ancestors to the field of music from the spirituals, to gospel, to jazz, to the blues, to rhythm and blues are too numerous to name. Today I’d like to just highlight a few.

The influence of the music of our ancestors can be found in all genres of music. From Chuck Berry and Fats Domino’s influence on Rock and Roll, to James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Little Richard’s influence on rhythm and blues, to Arthur Prysock and Nat King Cole’s influence on ballads.

In the days of radio that preceded television, music videos, MTV, and You Tube, the influence was so great that you couldn’t tell the ethnicity of the artist. For years, I listened to the music of the Righteous Brothers on the radio and until I saw them one Sunday evening on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on television I didn’t know they were White.

It was this song in 1965 written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia West that rocketed them to the top of the musical charts; “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” It has since become the most played record in the history of radio. Listen to what it says:

You never close your eyes when I kiss you,

There’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips

Trying hard not to show it, but baby you know it

You lost that loving feeling, you lost that loving feeling

You lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone

 

There’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you

And now you criticize everything I do

It makes me feel like crying cause something beautiful is dying

You lost that loving feeling, you lost that loving feeling

You lost that loving feeling now it’s gone, gone, gone

Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you

If you would only love me like you used to do

We had a love you don’t find everyday

So don’t let it slip away

Bring back that loving feeling, bring back that loving

Bring back that loving feeling cause it’s gone, gone, gone.

The Righteous Brothers song uniquely captures the sentiment of this text. The revelator is instructed to write to the angel or pastor of the church of Ephesus the words of the text by God; the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (V.1).

God knows, and sees, and feels that there is a noticeable difference in the relationship with His people. In Verse 2, God told the revelator that He knew the works, and the labors, and the patience of the members of the church of Ephesus (V.2a). I know [God says] your works, your labor and your patience (V.2a). I know that you could not bear those who were evil (V.2b). I know that you tested those who claimed to be apostles and found them to be liars (V.2c). I know [God says] your perseverance and your patience and your labor for my sake and how you have not become weary (V.3).

God knew all of that, but nevertheless He says in Verse 4, He had something against them (V.4a). They had left their first love (V.4b). They had lost that loving feeling. They were going through the motions of what God required without the emphatic feeling of compassion that God required. Their works, and their labors, and their patience were loveless acts.

God’s plea to remember from whence they have fallen in Verse 5 is similar to that of the Righteous Brothers. Remember the love they had and the relationship that they shared. Remember when she closed her eyes when he kissed her. Remember when there was tenderness in her fingertips. Remember when there was a welcome look in her eyes when he reached for her. Their love was a love you didn’t find every day.

There is no better way to describe God’s love for us than a love you don’t find every day. The unconditional, self-giving love of God is a love you don’t find every day. For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). That’s a love you don’t find every day. When there’s no welcome look in our eyes when God reaches for us, it makes God feel like crying because something beautiful is dying. God’s initial plea to the revelator was to tell the members of the church of Ephesus to remember from whence they have fallen (V.5).

God’s final plea to the revelator was to tell the members of the church of Ephesus to repent. Repent, He says, in the latter part of Verse 5 and do the first works (V.5b). In the words of the Righteous Brothers bring back that loving feeling. Turn from their ways and turn to God’s way. God’s way is the way of love, for God is love (1 John 4:8) and all that God does is out of love.

Do whatever you have to do but don’t let the love of God slip away. Do whatever you have to do; get down on your knees, beg and plead, weep and mourn til He brings back that loving feeling. William Kirkpatrick captures the sentiment of repentance in his hymn, “Lord I’m Coming Home”:

I’ve wandered far away from God, now I’m coming home

The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord I’m coming home

Coming home, coming home, never more to roam

Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord I’m coming home.

I’m turning from my own ways, to the ways of God. I’m turning from my selfish ways, to the selfless ways of God. Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord I’m coming home. Amen and Amen and Amen!

The Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Sr. is the senior pastor of Bethel AME Church, 7900 S. Western Ave., in Los Angeles.

 

Categories: Religion
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