*January 8, 2021
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 5:43-46
Dear friends and members of St. Paul’s,
This is a verse that is good in “theory”, but it gets a little frustrating when those we do not like are impacting our life in ways that are difficult. We are tempted to lighten the impact of the above words by replacing them with “love all people” or inform our Lord that good Christians do not or should not have enemies. Jesus will have none of it, and so he cuts through all our excuses for “not loving” (calls our bluff) and says “it’s easy to love those who are like you, for even the tax collectors do the same.” When he says “love your enemies” he does not ask us to ignore them or even see the best in them. In our world both of these approaches may not be possible. Rather, he does not want the “enemy thing” to limit our love for others in any way shape or form. Like many of you I was deeply disturbed by the events that happened this week in our nation, and I’m afraid our country may be on a path to even deeper division. How we are to live in that world as the body of Christ is the million dollar question. Being reminded of the above words from our Savior is a good place to start.
Blessings in Christ,
P.S. Check out Romans 5:10. Apparently, we are also the recipients of this kind of love.