Summary: Brotherly love in the church, and not necssarily orthodoxy, will persuade non-believers more than anything else that Christ is real.
Animals can do some pretty amazing things.
For example, what happened one day in the state of Maryland.
Believe it or not, this is a true story.
The Atlantic Ocean converts into many rivers and streams that paint the state of Maryland much like a leaf of a palm tree that extends in many different directions.
Canadian geese and swans live in this area and at Autumn, thousands of them come when there is food in abundance.
The coastline, the rivers, the lakes-everywhere there are geese and swans. There even seems to be an indifference, even a rivalry between these two birds.
Once or twice a year, it snows in this region and the narrowest point of the river Tread Avon, freezes over.
One woman-Theresa-who lived in this area, woke up one morning to have breakfast near the big window where she had a perfect view of the river.
All of a sudden, she saw something incredible on the other side of the river where it was frozen: a Canadian goose, with its wings tightly shut and sitting there very still…its feet were frozen to the ice!
Then she saw, up in the sky, a line of beautiful swan flying graciously and with complete freedom.
While she was observing, the leader of those swan made a right turn; instead of a line of swan they now formed a circle.
Finally, the entire circle of swan descended and landed on the ice where the goose was. Theresa stood up in awe with one hand covering her mouth.
The swan surrounded the goose frozen to the ice. Theresa feared that with those powerful beaks, they would pick to death what was left of the poor goose’s life (I’ve read that swans jealously maintain large territories. Maybe they didn’t like the fact that there was a goose). This goose was cooked!
But instead of killing the goose, their long necks would stretch up and come down, stretch up and come down…they were picking at the ice, much like a fisherman picks at the ice to make a small hole in order to fish!
For quite a while, they kept this up. Theresa couldn’t believe her eyes.
After a while, the goose was not surrounded by the frozen river, but by a small circle around its webbed feet!
The swan ascended following its leader and flew in circles above the goose, as if they were waiting to see the results of their labors.
The goose lifted its head. It pulled its body. It was free, standing on the ice. And the swan all this time observing from above.
Then, as if to say, "I can’t fly!," four swan descended and landed around the goose. With their powerful beaks, they began to scrape the goose’s wings from top to bottom! They lifted its wings and its body to scrape and scratch the ice that was glued to its feathers.
Gradually, as if he was trying out its strength, the goose extended its wings and folded them, repeating this movement.
Finally, when the goose could extend its wings as far as they could go, the four swan flew back up to the rest of the swan that were still flying in circles above.
Theresa, overcome with emotion and with tears in her eyes, saw the goose finally fly up with incredible speed and joy, to catch up with the rest of the swan in the sky, the last in line like a little boy following a group of older kids.1
Can animals teach us how to live?
…..SWANS..IN…THE…C-H-U-R-C-H! (say with slow emphasis).
¿How should we treat each other?
(slowly with emphasis): Swans. Swans.
In the church, we can show the world the most powerful evidence that we really are Jesus’ disciples.
Those swan just showed us.
The Bible says,
"Love one another with brotherly love." (Rom. 12:10)
"Put on love which is the perfect bond." (Col. 3:14)
"If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." (1 Cor. 13:2)
Open your Bibles with me to our Scripture reading in John 13:34, 35:
34: A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35: By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Notice very carefully what Jesus is saying in verse 35: EVERYONE will know…that is to say, every person observing the church; members inside the church, and individuals outside the church.
EVERYONE will know that we are His disciples if…
l We obey the ten commandments-
l We keep the Sabbath-
l We have all the prophetic dates of Daniel and Revelation correct-.
Is that what the text says?
What is it that we need in the church so that our testimony will have impact and force and that everyone will know that we are Christ’s disciples?