The Rector's Blog
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August 4, 2016, 12:53 PM

Love your enemies


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”

Matthew 5:43-46a

How easy do we find that to do, in actual practice?  With the amazing amount of political vitriol flying around and the concerns so many have about the quality or values of this or that candidate for this or that office…how do we keep our heads and remember that, however much we distrust or fear “the other” candidate, they are still beloved of God, and we are still challenged to honor them as such? 

Not only does Jesus encourage this in this passage in Matthew, but in our own baptismal vows – vows that we renew at least annually at Easter and sometimes more frequently – we pledge to “respect the dignity of every human being.  All while simultaneously making a commit-ment to “persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever [we] fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people,” and to “Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving [our] neighbor as [ourselves.]” (BCP 3-4-305.)

I don’t mind admitting I find this difficult. I do mind admitting the corollary that it can actually be rather fun to pile on someone I don’t like, particularly when I am with people I do (and who happen to agree with me). 

I also do not forget that as the Rector, I have a responsibility to be dispassionate and fair to all.  

This remains a work in progress, I am afraid.

What I would recommend is to make a commitment to pray every day be-tween now November 8, for our nation.

The following prayers may be found in the BCP:

   Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

(BCP 258)

   Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(BCP 822)

Will you, with me, make a commitment to pray these prayers each day?

God hears when the people cry out.

(Ps. 34:6)

God hears when the earth cries out.

 (Genesis 4:10)


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