Seventh Sunday After Epiphany
February 24, 2019
Jesus said, "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. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer
the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for
them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who
love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even
sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that
to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do
good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be
children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful,
just as your Father is merciful.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will
be the measure you get back." Luke 6: 27-38
We live in a time where everything can and will be measured. Folks walk around wearing
devices that count their steps, their calorie intake and monitor their sleeping, and the beats of
our hearts. Our smartphones can measure distance for us, monitor our children, our houses,
our refrigerator's contents, and give us direction. We collect and measure because we think it
makes us feel safe, in control and winning at the numbers. And yet, so often, we are feeling
empty and isolated, brimming over with fear and anxiety about tomorrow.
Jesus continues his teaching from what some call the sermon on the plain, on the level place,
as the writer of Luke puts it. He has been turning the order of the world on it's head. He invites
the people gathered to know love by sharing it, fullness through feeding others, generosity by
being generous, forgiveness through forgiving and healing by healing relationships. For that is
how God is, and how God is truly known. No wealth, security or power will ever draw us close
to God, or give us the peace we crave. We are invited to act as God's children and we will be
know the bounty of God's generous and unending love.
Today, I ask God to help me, one day at a time, to love, give, forgive and be merciful in all
things and with all people. May we be all live as those who are loved beyond measure, giving
all that we have so others might know and see God's love in our offerings.
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy
Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all
virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your
only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for