Clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24 NRSV)

A teacher named Stanley Hauerwas opens one of his classes by reading a letter from a parent to a government official. The parent complains that his son, who had received the best education, gone to all the right schools, and was headed for a good job as a lawyer, had gotten involved with a weird religious sect. Now members of this sect influenced his actions, impacted whom to date and whom not to date, and he gave this group all of his money. The parent is pleading with the government official to do something about this strange religious group.

"Who is this letter describing?" Professor Hauerwas asked his class. Most of his class thought the letter was describing some other off-the-wall group. Actually, it was a composite document drawn from the letters of third century Roman parents concerning a group called Christians.

Does our Christian faith have that much influence over our lives?

When we are baptized, we identify ourselves with Jesus. We give ourselves to him without reservation. In doing so, we are able to love as he loved.

Loving God, may my Christian faith truly influence every aspect of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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