Today, we will be celebrating another boy's birthday. I chose the theme of his party this time. Right now, all of my kids are with me in the office, enjoying a cartoon episode of this superhero team of four "misfits". These heroes live underground because they fear that people will not understand them. Although they may look very different than other people, they still have complex emotions, introspective thoughts, and moral compasses that lead them to action more often than not.
These heroes are compelled to fight evil. I mean, literally, they trained for years in the martial arts. They were young, strong, and naive. They want to skateboard, play video games, and eat junk food. (Isn't that how many folks want to live?) Yet, they have also sworn to protect each other, and they are even willing to help others. Their Teacher has instilled in them that they must be self-disciplined so that they may make the best decisions in tense situations. These heroes, with their fighting skills and stealth abilities, are compelled to help the innocent and defenseless.
Brotherly love is often written about in the Holy Bible. Although the heroes I was describing above are fictional, we are not. I have four sons of my own who are best friends to each other, and also the best nuisances to each other. I have several siblings and siblings-in-law. We do not always agree, but I love them just the same. Also, because I am a Christian, I have multiple brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world. Jesus has commanded us to love one another. So, I love all of my brothers and sisters!
Luke 8:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
1 John 4:20-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Mark 12:28-31 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Great Commandment
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If I say I love God, then I need to love my biological and legal family. I am also supposed to love those men, women, and children who have decided to follow Jesus Christ. Following the second greatest commandment, I am supposed to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus taught in the parable of the good Samaritan that my neighbors are everyone. So, there is no one left for me to hate. I can disagree with somebody. I can try to correct or re-direct behaviors. I can try to protect others from harm. I can do all of these things in love, and not in hate. God has given us this power to love all, even those who want to hurt us. This would not be possible without the love of God through his Son, Jesus Christ. What Christ did for all of us, by dying on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins, is what love is. He considers all of us who follow Him his own brothers and sisters. And there is still more room in this family for everyone to choose to follow Him.
Jesus is my favorite Superhero!