Speechless, her eyes wide, her heart tripping, Grace watched as Webster took up a piece of red ribbon and began to tie an elaborate knot in the middle of it. Then he handed the ribbon to Grace. She took it and added several more intricate loops, completing the difficult knot. This silent act was the ceremony of their engagement.
Soon afterward, Daniel Webster married Grace, a marriage which lasted until her death, 21 years later. Webster eventually remarried and lived on for many years, but he never lost his affection for his first love. Following his own death in 1852, a box was found hidden among his personal effects. Inscribed upon the box were the words "Precious Documents." Within the box were the letters he and Grace had exchanged during their courtship and marriage. They were well-worn, as if they had been often removed from the box, read, then replaced and hidden again.
And there was one other memento in Daniel Webster's box of memories: a length of red ribbon, still tied in an intricate knot.
This is a beautiful story of a man who never lost his affection for his first love. And in many ways, it is a parable of how our love for Jesus Christ should be: devoted, loyal, fond, tender, filled with remembrance, thankfulness, and yearning. Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Do you recall that feeling of always wanting to be near the object of your love, to simply bask in the presence of that person?
In Revelation 2:1-7, we meet a church that once loved Jesus that way. But tragically, at the time that we encounter this church in Revelation, the fondness, the remembrance, the yearning of that first glow of love had faded. Instead of a church that is ardently in love with its Lord, we find a church that has lost its love.
2:1 TO THE angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:
2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.
3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name's sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.
4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God's will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
6 Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest.
7 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. [Genesis 2:9; 3:24.] AMP