February 19

Luke 6:27-31

“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

Those who heard Jesus preach remembered his radical words, and Luke took pains to include them in his gospel. Later followers of Jesus took these words to heart and they became the identifying mark of the kingdom. This is how Jesus expected his disciples to treat others, and he provided for no caveats or exceptions. Unfortunately our world has found a multitude of reasons to ignore what he said, and even many Christians behave in totally contrary ways. We’ve gotten used to saying ugly things to others via social media, and are more likely to adopt the style of partisan politicians than the difficult way of Jesus. And the divisive results have been devastating! Some of us can’t even speak kindly to friends, much less enemies. We break off relationships with people who don’t share our political convictions, and think the worst of those with whom we disagree. Congregations have been torn apart as folks seek to associate only with those who share their views. But not everyone has been sucked in! Some are listening to Jesus and learning to love all people, offering blessings and prayers for them without exception. Is it easy? Of course not–sometimes insults and hateful words pop into our minds, sometimes we want to retreat–but oh what blessings come our way when words of love become habitual! 

Thought for the Day: How do I relate to those with different political views?

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