My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you belong to the Christian brotherhood of love? Did you know that with that brotherhood, you are bound by the bond of the Gospel of love? And, were you aware that would make that binding unique, enduring and subject to testing?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
There is an old Japanese proverb that says: “Brothers quarrel like thieves inside a house, but outside their swords leap out in each other’s defense.” The bond of brotherhood is one of the strongest bonds God has built into His creation. When Jesus rose from the dead, he brought with Him a new concept of a binding brother-hood. And, with that brotherhood, He also brought with Him the bond of the Gospel of love, that would make that binding unique, enduring and subject to testing. For like genetic brothers, each of us sharing in that Gospel would now also share a common loyalty and concern for one another despite our quarrels. Like brothers, we now owe each other our swords.
Here’s a story: One day, Sally, a college student, walked into her classroom and discovered that her professor, Dr. Smith, had hung a big target on the wall. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked, and he would allow them to put their picture on the target and throw darts at it. The class lined up and began throwing. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their pictures were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Dr. Smith asked the students to return to their seats. As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was that she had missed her turn, Dr. Smith removed the target from the wall. Underneath it was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of their Lord. Dr. Smith said only these words... ‘In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto Me.’ No other words were necessary; the tear-filled eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ. (Bobby McDaniel, Sermoncentral.com)
Jesus is telling us that, with His resurrection, things have changed. We are His brother and He is ours. And, since all men and women are His brothers, that means we are to treat one another with the love and respect that we would show to a brother or a sister; even our enemies. When we treat one another badly, it would be as if we did it to our own flesh and blood. This is unacceptable in a family; it’s unacceptable in the family of Christ. “Love one another as I have loved you!” This is our Savior’s instruction. Brothers and sisters, take up the sword for one another. Defend. Don’t tear down.
We pray. Jesus, You are the author and originator of love. We only know love because You are love and You loved us first. You love us specifically and sacrificially. You love us in our sin and rebellion against You. You love us despite the pain we inflict on others. You love us in our mess. It is that love - that selfless, self-sacrificing love, which allows us to love others. It is an overflow of Your love for us that allows us to love other people. Jesus, we ask You to make us better lovers of one another. Would You give us the heart and love to proclaim Your love to those who need to hear it? Let us abide in that love, even among those the hate us or call us their enemy. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.