It’s difficult to imagine.  How could they?  Why would they?  Is it really possible they could be that enthusiastic about God’s church and the sharing of the gospel of life-transformation through faith in Jesus to do what they did?


Apparently, yes.  There’s a historical sign in Philadelphia about the First African Baptist Church there.  It reveals that two of the members of that community of faith believed so deeply in the mission of God’s church to share the love of Christ that they freely sold themselves into slavery to free a slave to serve as pastor of that church.


Can you begin to fathom that kind of love for God and God’s church to make that kind of sacrifice so that people might come to know Jesus?  And people did come to know Jesus through that church.  In fact, the church grew and grew because of the spirit of love and sacrifice embodied by the two persons who sold themselves into slavery for the church.


And then there’s the rest of the story.  Because of the generosity of those who became a part of the church, the pastor led in the buying out of slavery the two men who were joyfully welcomed back into that community faith and will always be remembered for their love and caring and sacrifice for the gospel.


As this new year begins, how will you show your love for God and God’s church through your giving?  What will you sacrifice?  How will you contribute to the sharing of the gospel of God’s never-failing love?


If you are a follower of Jesus, remember:  You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.  Galatians 4:7 (CEV)