Praying for ENEMIES?!?! Seriously, Jesus?!?!?


This week's gospel lesson is fascinating.
It includes Jesus words from the gospel of Matthew, Chapter 5 - "Love your enemies and pray for those persecute you." Now those are some challenging words!

Most of us don't go around day-to-day thinking about enemies.
Many of us would like to believe we don't even have enemies.

In Jesus' time, when his friends and followers heard the word "enemies," they probably would have included any person who was outside their faith group. Enemies were outsiders; enemies also would have included political oppressors (like the Romans).

And Jesus says: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES (and even PRAY for them)! Can you imagine how these words would have sounded to his original listeners? They still sound amazingly radical to me today. When was the last time I prayed for the people & political leaders who frustrate me most? I can't even remember! Last week, when I was frustrated by people's sexist, racist comments - did I go home and pray for them? No, I let my anger and frustration fester.

I really think Jesus knows what he's talking about in this gospel lesson.
I really, really do.
Jesus knows how TOTALLY TOXIC anger and frustration are once they seep into our veins.
Loving and praying are two ways to combat that toxicity.

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Okay, I will give it a go.

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