Matthew 5:38-48 – The Seventh Sunday after Epiphany â€“ for Sunday, February 19, 2017
â€œBut I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you . . .â€ (Matthew 5:44)
I know his name.
I know his habits.
I know his weaknesses.
And I also know his strengths, and the ways that he can undermine me, hurt me, and often leave me battered and then walk away as if nothing happened. The â€œbatteredâ€ is more metaphorical, based on the way he works, but if I donâ€™t show any bruises after an encounter with him, it doesnâ€™t mean his words or actions didnâ€™t hurt me.
I am, of course, my own worst enemy. I pondered that while reading Jesusâ€™ words in Matthewâ€™s fifth chapter: â€œBut I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you . . .â€
What I pray is often not what I say.
What I say is often not what I do.
How often do I act with more hypocrisy than holiness? Am I not my own worst enemy by my two-faced omissions and false admissions? And yet I donâ€™t suppose Jesus was referring to our private stares in the figurative mirrors of our lives as the reminder of who our enemies are.
I get the historic context of Jesusâ€™ call to the love the enemy. Continue reading →