Pastoral Reflections Pastor Bruce Zimmerman, Christ Lutheran Church Gladbrook, Iowa
February 17, 2012
Mark Twain had the habit of telling tall stories. One day a friend asked him, “When did you start telling lies?” He answered, “When I was two months old.” “How can a tiny baby tell a lie?” asked the friend. Mark Twain said that a pin in his diaper had come loose and stuck him. When he screamed at the top of his lungs, his mother came running, picked him up, hugged and kissed him, and spoke lovingly to him. “The next night I screamed again,” Twain said, “but this time I was only pretending.” Pretending can be a way of lying. And early in life we can learn to pretend. And usually we get better at it as we get older. Bill had become an expert at pretending. His mother told him to stop fighting and shake hands with his brother. Bill shook hands, but he was pretending. As soon as his mother left the room, he started up again. At Sunday School Bill’s teacher asked, “Do you love everybody” Bill said, “Yes,” but once again he was only pretending. He didn’t love the neighbor lady who scolded him for running across her yard. He wouldn’t even speak to the new boy at school, because he was of a different race. It is easy for us to pretend to love everyone without really doing it. Jesus is the only one who never pretended to love. He said he loved all people, and proved it by dying on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus wants us also to back up our words of love with actions of love. Through the apostle John Jesus tells us: “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth.” (1 John 3:18). We are to love without pretending, because that’s the way Jesus, God’s Son, our Savior, loves us.
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