“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
In the gospel of Matthew, following the beatitudes, Jesus tells his disciples that they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Luke’s version of the beatitudes is similar, but here Jesus’ instructions to the disciples describe more fully what it means to be the light. The words are familiar, but their counter-cultural tone presents us with an enormous challenge. We live in a time when divisions have hardened, and it’s become difficult to even be civil to those with opposing views. Insults, slander, and lies have become second nature in social and political discourse, and some have been deeply offended by those with whom they disagree. But just imagine how society would be transformed if Jesus’ words were taken to heart. Instead of tearing down their opponents, politicians would speak of their love for them and regularly offer blessings and prayers on their behalf. Obviously, that’s not likely to happen among those running for office, but it should be a regular practice in our communities of faith and in our neighborhoods. Relationships are so precious in our lives and they deserve to be sustained with our regular prayers for understanding and unity. Jesus sums his teaching up well–all we really need to do is “do to others as we would have them do to us.” It’s that simple!
Thought for the Day: Why is the “golden rule” so hard to follow?