“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” vss. 27-28
Many congregations celebrate the Sunday nearest to November 1, All Saint’s Day, as All Saint’s Sunday, and use it to remember the Church Triumphant, those who have died in Christ who now rest from their labors. The gospel text for that day comes this year from Luke and does a great job of describing the holy life that Jesus prescribed for his followers during their time on earth. We find similar directives in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount and sometimes wish that Jesus could have been more accommodating to our natural inclinations. His intentions are clear! If we really are saints, it should be obvious in the way that we behave. Indeed, through the years many saints have lived in exactly the way that Jesus has described. They’ve taken his words to heart and given the world a sample of Kingdom living. We aren’t bound to live in endless conflict, cursing our enemies and vilifying those we despise, as is the practice on current social media platforms. Jesus raised the bar for his followers and his expectations are not beyond our reach. Since we’re sinners as well as saints, it obviously isn’t easy. We’ll need countless second chances and frequent reformation–but we can love our enemies and pray for them. Maybe it can even become habitual!
Thought for the Day: Who am I being called to pray for today?