Sunday

your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.' (v. 27)

Luke 6:27-38 Sunday 24 February 2019

Psalm: Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40

Background

Luke’s gospel has more detail than the other gospels. It is fuller and has more colour; some theologians believe this is because Luke spoke to people who were there.

In verse 29 we are told: “… If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also …” This doesn’t mean to be a walk over. It means to be empathic or to not show that it bothers you so much. You see it in movies when someone is so upset that they start attacking another but the other person just lets them take it out on them. Then what happens next is the attacker is comforted by the other person. The frantic hitting turns into a hug. This by no means is condoning violence but I hope what I am saying is that when someone is hurtful towards us this passage seems to show us that we can turn that into having compassion for our enemy and possibly understanding where they come from. May God’s love be truly revealed in those circumstances.

The readings set for this week are going to ask a lot of us. They are going to encourage us to pray for our enemies, take the narrow gate, to not judge others and to knock on God’s door repeatedly.

So this Luke passage starts by asking us to do what must be for all of us the hardest thing to do. How do you pray for someone who bullies you? How do you give to someone who hurts you? And why should you? Jesus is teaching us what it must be like to be him. To give and give and possibly not get another back and in some circumstances have those you love cry “crucify him!”

To show God’s love to the world takes great compassion and dedication in prayer. We pray particularly for our enemies so that their hearts may be changed, not for our own sake but for their own. Our duty as followers of Christ is that all may be saved and it starts, as this week’s passage shows, by loving those who don’t love us.

 

To Ponder:

  • Who has hurt you? Are you able to pray for them today?
  • Can you talk to someone about the pain you feel? Ask them to pray with you.
  • Listen to the hymn 'Beauty for Brokenness' (Singing the Faith 693).
  • Pray that you may be guided by this reading today.
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