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Monday, April 30, 2007

A friend of mine has a dog that recently gave birth to a litter of eight beautiful puppies. Lesley and I have spent several afternoons watching the little rat-sized critters squirm around and have laughed at the little sounds that they make. They’re eyes aren’t open; neither are their ears. They are so totally vulnerable that any life outside the crate that holds them would be mortally dangerous. However, whenever these little ones get hungry they have no difficulty in finding mamma. They are so familiar with her scent that they need no eyesight or hearing to identify her and go to her.
Jesus told his disciples that he was soon to leave them, and that where he was about to go none of them could follow. He left his closest children with a simple command: love one another. As much as Jesus loved and cared for us, we are to love and care for each other. In fact, we are to be identified by our love. No other sense can detect Christianity in a person – there is no “Jesus smell” or “holy sound” that emanates from a believer. No, the only way that we can be identified is through our love for one another.
Like the puppies looking for their mother, believers have a distinguishing characteristic that identifies them as believers in Jesus Christ: love. We must demonstrate the same compassion that Jesus demonstrated for us on the cross to our neighbors, and we absolutely must speak with love in the public square. We have no other means of identifying one another – no passwords or handshakes or winks, all we have is the love, charity, and compassion that sets us apart from the rest of society.

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