Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brotherly Love

Male ego warning – this one is a little sappy.

I’ve been working on a message for Sunday, and I have been studying about the church at Philadelphia in Revelation chapter 3. Philadelphia means brotherly love. The word Philadelphia occurs eight times in the Bible and each time it refers to either brotherly love or an actual ancient city in Lydia. When I read about this city, I keep thinking about what it means to love someone like a brother.

I only have one sibling – who is awesome – and I’m not just saying that because she reads my blog ;-) – and she is a sister and not a brother. I mean really girls are okay and all, but most girls can’t throw a football well and make pathetic hunting partners. (Yes, I know that comment was sexist, but not necessarily chauvinistic.) Allow me to plead my case. When we were kids my older sister and I would go bird hunting together with our BB guns, but we never killed any birds. Years later I realized that we weren’t actually bird hunting. My sister only went with me to keep me from killing birds. She would wait until just before I pulled the trigger on my gun to say that she wanted to take the shot. We would wait for an interminably long time, and eventually the bird would simply fly away. I learned that girls love birds and not brothers. So, I suppose I don’t truly know what brotherly love means in the purest sense of the word.

In all seriousness, I may not understand brotherly love, but I have experienced love that is possibly similar if not stronger than brotherly love. Proverbs 18:24b says, “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Yes, I quoted the KJV. How often do you get to say “sticketh”? Say it a few times. It is really a fun word to say.) While I may not have a biological brother, I have some friends (male and female) who have stuck by me when I have needed a friend.

I am a fairly independent person, but I have gone through some periods of my life when I have needed someone to help me through some rough patches. For those of you who have the dual honor of having stood by me when I have needed a friend and who read my blog. Thanks for sticking, and teaching me about brotherly love.