I'm all for cute, cuddly, warm and fuzzy - but the bear does not bear Jesus. The Word and the Sacraments bear Jesus - for you - for the forgiveness of your sins. And that's a message more comforting and worth more than all the stuffed bears, live kittens, or warm nuzzles from all the K9's in the world. So when you bring the bear to show your own love and concern for your friend or acquaintance bring your pastor along also and let him share the love of God in Christ Jesus for that person and assure them of God's mercy and grace.
I have to love THEM?!?!?! "Do this and you will live," says Jesus. What do we do when we realize that we haven't done that?
Whether the messengers Jesus sent out were received or not – they were to deliver a single message - the same message He sends to us - “The Kingdom of God has come upon you.”