Scripture Galatians 3: 26-39
26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It’s a beautiful day for a walk today. The humidity is far less than yesterday, the sun is out, and there is a very nice breeze. On Monday, I went to the post office to mail some packages, and when I arrived at the post office, the skies opened, and the rain came down like a waterfall. I decided not to go into the post office with the packages, but I could at least mail the few letters I had in the outside post box. One of the envelopes was very important for it was addressed to the Rhode Island Tax Division. As I put the mail in an awkward slot, one letter dropped onto the ground. Of course, it was the most important one to the tax department. It was raining so hard that a stream was running along the road, and the letter began a fast journey on the water toward a storm drain. I got out of the truck as fast as I could and found the only way to stop the flight of the envelope was to step on it. You can just imagine what the forms and I looked like afterward. I dried the mail and took it to the post office today. A note inside explained what had happened for never did I see a document any more wrinkled. I was pretty wrinkled myself after that soaking rain.
How are you today? Were you in that rainstorm yesterday? I hope your day so far has been as pleasant as mine has been. You could never guess what class Dale and I attended last night. It was a puppy training class in a school for puppies called “No Monkey Business.” Raising a dog today is so different from how a dog was raised years ago. We always kept our dog separate from other dogs in years gone by but today dog trainers want you to socialize your dog. You are supposed to have your dog meet other dogs, and as many people, especially men and children, as you can.
I told Dale as we were leaving for puppy class that I knew Molly would be the worst acting puppy there. Sometimes she barks too much and jumps up on you like she should not do. That’s all puppy I know, but I was sure all the other puppies would be better acting than ours.
We were instructed not to get out of our vehicles until they called us in for the class. It was raining as we went into the hall. There were chairs at the outside edges of the room and very separate from each other. There was also a hook to hold the leash of your dog. Then the trainers started the puppy training with the goal of learning to sit and to recognize puppy names. We had cut up a couple of hot dogs into small pieces, and Molly reacted to her name and was very good about sitting when commanded to do so as long as she got a treat.
Now this pastor loves hot dogs and because of the salt content they are forbidden now – I would have sat and answered to my name if you were treating me with hot dogs. The evening began with Molly being a great, obedient puppy. Then they announced it was puppy playtime. The instructors told us not to worry and to set our puppies free. They promised to watch over them and see that they were not threatened. So we loosed Molly from her leash. Like a perfect lady she sat in front of us until a larger German shepherd puppy came over for a lively visit. Molly went under our chairs. The other puppy left, and she began to cautiously move out into the open space. Over again came the rambunctious pup, and Molly again crouched under our chair. Then she went out again this time further than before. I am so prejudiced, but she is so adorable. The German Shepard pup came over again, and this time she kind of munched on his tail. She did not hurt him, but she learned that she could hold her own. Off she went to see other puppies.
Now, I must tell you I do not know when I have ever seen anything more fun than all those puppies playing with each other. This pastor never knew what a joy a little puppy could be. Molly is really so very good for me. Sometimes I am afraid she will trip me up or that I might fall over her and hurt her. However, she forces me to take her for a walk up a hill in our back yard and that I was not doing. I walk further now and walk faster than I have for a very long time.
Some of the puppies at No Monkey Business were very small, some very large. There were all different kinds of puppies – some with pedigrees and others that were just a mixture of different breeds. All of them were having a good time in spite of an occasional disagreement. Looking out with a huge smile on my face I could not help but think how mankind’s society is not very much different from the society of puppies there in that training class. As the puppies were learning to get along with each other, so we human beings need to stop seeing differences in our backgrounds and ethnicity and rather see that our differences are what makes our lives more interesting and exciting. It would have been a boring night if all the little puppies had been the same. What made the evening so wonderful was that there were puppies learning to play and tolerate each other.
The puppies can teach us a very valuable lesson – a lesson that is a part of the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus teaches us that love can make all the differences between human beings disappear. Jesus teaches us that we are all important in the eyes of God the Father. God has created us to be His equal children. Is it not time for us to forget differences and see each other as a God loved human race? Saint Paul expresses it best in Galatians when he states there is not Jew or Greek, male or female for all are one in Jesus Christ.
Maybe we humans need to gather together in a large hall, our world perhaps, and start to appreciate differences and the wonderful ability to not only be different but to have a deep love for each other.
Wish you could have been there with Dale and me as we watched different puppies accept differences and enjoy each other’s company. God takes everyday simple events to show us His teachings.
Almighty God, wipe away from our eyes the scars of prejudice and from our ears the harsh words of discord and create in us an appreciation and love of each other as taught by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thank you for joining me on our walk this week and “May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen.”