Journey into Freedom Day 30
Preparation: Begin by stilling, then dedicating the time of prayer to God and asking God that all you think, feel and imagine are for the glory of God.
Gift: I ask that I may know Jesus more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly.
Setting: Consider the Bible passage below, you can imagine you are listening to Jesus on the hillside. Alternatively you can ponder slowly these central teachings of Christ. Do you find them a difficult challenge or do they inspire you?
Matthew 5:38-48 HCSB
“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons and daughters of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Follow the meditation on Scripture with a conversation with God and a Final Prayer.
A Thought for Today: Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Love of the Enemy
A common trait of dictators is to create an enemy of the people who can be a scapegoat for all society’s ills. Foreigners or people who are different in some way make excellent scapegoats. Evil needs enemies. Christ calls his followers to love their enemies.
We don’t, of course, have to like those we think of as enemies. But, if we are to follow Christ’s call, we have to be willing to be civil, honest, respectful towards them and always ready to do our ‘enemies’ a good turn. This is what it means to love them.