Saturday, May 1, 2010

Love your Enemies

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:44-45

Last night, I saw a wonderful opera composed by Scott Richards " A Star Across the Se" at the Vox Festival at NYU. Scott happens to be my brother-in-law, and it was a real treat to watch his incredible work with a full orchestra. One of his characters is based on Paul Robeson who is singing to the Atlantic ocean "you ain't no river!" Robeson had been to Paris and was welcomed as the incredible artist and hero that he was, but back at home, he was subject to the racism and scrutiny of his time and it crushed him and so many others. And I had to ponder the reality of all the hate that has been released into the world that a once in a century kind of star would be crushed by hate in his home country. Too often folks have to move away to be honored and hatred based on color, creed and politics are still hot currency in our land.

Love your enemies. Love those who persecute you. Jesus tells his disciples that they will be known by their love rather than their hate and that loving is how we are made children of God. How hard it is to love those who have hurt us and how easy it is to imagine a wonderful revenge. All humans ache to set the record straight, to right the wrongs done them, to wipe out the cruelty they have suffered. And all too often, when we get a chance, we use the same violence and cruelty that we were railing against.

Today I want to try to love my enemies. When the ancient or modern hurts come to mind, I want to pray for these people and ask God to help me to love them. It won't be easy. But just for today I want to try, because loving others, despite all is the cost of being a disciple. Love is the cost of knowing and serving God.

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