by RON NEWHOUSE
June 7, 2012
The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
(1 John 4.21 NRSV)
aniel, a big man, used to be a weight.lifter. His scrapbook is full of colorful ribbons and photos of him in his prime, showing him in the muscle man pose and flexing his bulging arms. Today he teaches others to lift weights at a small local gym.
Daniel enjoys his work, but he dreams of one day owning his own business. Sometime back Daniel had the opportunity to purchase his very own gym. The bank offered to give him a loan if he could find someone to co.sign. They worked out the details and the loan was approved. Daniel was excited: he could already see the new business.
But there was a mix.up the day Daniel went to the bank to pick up his loan check. He was told that his brother had already been in the bank, taken the promised money and applied it to his own mortgage. Daniel was furious with his brother. The only thing that kept Daniel from beating his brother up when he went home was his brother's children playing nearby. Daniel told his brother that if he ever saw him again he would break his neck.
Several months later, Daniel met a young American missionary who taught him about Jesus. Daniel and his wife soon became Christians. But Daniel still found it impossible to forgive his brother. He did not see him again for two years.
One day on a busy street Daniel encountered his brother. "I saw him," Daniel said, "but he didn't see me." Daniel clenched his fists, he felt his face get hot. His initial impulse was to grab his brother around the throat and choke the life out of him. As he looked into his brother's face, though, his anger began to melt. For suddenly he noticed how much his brother resembled their father. He saw their father's expression. He noticed their father's look. And as he saw their father in his brother's face, his enemy once again became his brother.
Daniel walked toward his brother. His brother saw him, stopped, turned and started to run. Daniel quickly caught up with him, though, and grabbed him. Expecting only the worst, the brother was taken by surprise when, instead of having his throat crushed, he found himself in a giant hug. And the brothers stood in the middle of the crowded sidewalk and wept.
"And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us."
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