Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
"Trouble" made the news once again.
Understand, I'm not talking about global trouble, or national trouble or even your own personal trouble.
I'm talking about Trouble, the dog. You remember Trouble, don't you? Trouble is a little, white Maltese, who once belonged to hotel-owner Leona Helmsley.
Years ago Trouble first made the news because when Helmsley died she left $12 million to her dog. (Sometime later a judge reduced that amount to $2 million. It was quite a reduction in her personal portfolio, but Trouble tightened her collar and got by on the lesser amount.)
Now you may wonder just why Helmsley left all that moolah to her mutt. The answer is probably an easy one: she loved that dog. In fact, if reputations can be believed, Helmsley loved that dog more than she loved most people.
Outraged? Disgusted? Don't be. If you take a look at most dogs and compare their devotion, faithfulness, commitment and non-judgmental natures, you will also conclude most dogs are easier to love than most people.
And that causes us a problem. John didn't encourage Jesus' followers to love dogs. He said we should love each other. With all our flaws and failings, humanity's sins and shortcomings, we are supposed to love each other.
Why? Because Jesus said we should. Why? Because Jesus, God's innocent Son, remembered us. That's right, Jesus remembered us through His Words, through His actions, by means of His miracles and especially through His sacrifice, suffering and death.
Now, those who are given faith are incredibly appreciative. Although we didn't deserve it, Jesus died so we might live, descended into hell so we wouldn't have to, rose from the dead to show us the way.
For that we should be grateful -- incredibly grateful -- even more grateful than Mrs. Helmsley's doggie, Trouble.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You have done something most strange: You have given Yourself for me. You didn't give me money or things. Most certainly You didn't give me what I deserved. What You did bestow upon me was forgiveness of sins and salvation. For this I give thanks in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries