22nd September 2011

Let’s Be A Breath Of Fresh Air!

“Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”
Ephesians 5: 2 (NLT) 

Smitten is a strange word, don’t you think? It can be used for being struck with a disease or by love.  We say things like, “He was smitten by the plague” or “He is completely smitten with her”. In many ways it is speaking about a contagion that has had a sudden effect on someone. But there are, of course, many positive things in this life that are contagious, such as fun, joy, laughter, excitement, and wonder. 

One of the most infectious things in the universe I think is the love of God. Jesus was aglow with, was surrounded by, an aura of God’s love. Aura is a Greek word that means “breeze or breath” and so Jesus carried this love about like a fragrant garment, a breath of fresh air. And as you know, it had a tremendous impact upon others with whom he came in contact. This was one of the reasons why he made this giant leap into flesh—to show, and to demonstrate the love of his Father. We too have this mission; we are called to be “demonstration models” of that same love. You know, an individual selling vacuum cleaners can talk about all the benefits of the machine or how easy it is to use “until he is blue in the face”—but unless he demonstrates it—that information will just fade away! “There are three things that will endure—faith, hope and love—and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13). 

One of the early Christian fathers once asked and answered this question; “What does love look like?” He says; “It has hands to help others; feet to hasten to the poor and needy; eyes to see misery and want; ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what it looks like.” (Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo: 354-430 AD). 

“There is love whose measure is that of an umbrella. There is love whose inclusiveness is that of a great marquee. And there is a love whose comprehension is that of the immeasurable sky. The aim of the New Testament is the conversion of the umbrella into a tent and the merging of a tent into the glorious canopy of the all-enfolding heavens…Push back the walls of family love until they include the neighbour; again push back the walls until they include the stranger; again push back the walls until they comprehend the foe.” (John Henry Jowett). 

Let us resolve to become “A breath of fresh air” for others this year. 

Father, fill us with your tenderness for others each and every day of this year, that we might be the gentle breath of your love to all.

Study by Cliff Neill

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