Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday - seeking the best for others

Prayer:   Great God,  we bow before Your mystery of love.  From Your love came our creation.  By Your love we are daily nourished.  Through Your love  we find salvation.  Your love is a consuming fire of purity, yet warm and gentle in compassion.  We respond to You O God. You are love and we love You in return.  Amen.    (Living Faith  Wood Lake Books Publishing,  1988  pg 24)

Read  St. Luke  6:  35 – 36

The Message (Navpress  2005)  “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.”

Expecting nothing in return.   Phew!   A tall order.    When we do something special we always like to get something in return,  whether it be a pat on the back or some recognition. Our culture is conditioned on reward for good behaviour.     But here Jesus is saying to love your enemies… those people that you despise and to help them out AND expect nothing in return.  
This takes a lot of generosity and graciousness.    But you know,  it does get easier to help those you despise and expect nothing in return each time you help them.  
Sometimes we say we don’t have any enemies so these verses don’t apply to us.  These verses apply to everyone.  We all have people we don’t like  or we don’t have time for  or when we see them we end up hearing all about their struggles and they don’t ask us anything about ourselves.  The word “enemy”  that Jesus uses here isn’t just a person we despise in our lifetime,  but people who are families to the third and fourth generations past have hated.   Wow!     That is a lot of hate.  Yet Jesus asks us to love with our whole hearts.  Amazing.

 Read these two verses again.  And yes,  they apply to you!

 Prayer:  Great God,  Your love means seeking the best for others and is our mark as a Christian.  We cannot claim to love You,  whom we do not see,  if we hate those about us, whom we do see.   Love of You and of our neighbour means fulfilling Your law.  We love and accept ourselves as we are because You have already loved us fully and accepted us in Christ.  For this and all things,  we give You our love and our thanks.  Amen.  (Living Faith  Wood Lake Books Publishing,  1988  pg 24)

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