The Rector's Blog
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November 19, 2015, 2:48 PM

Fear or Faith?

Times are hard. 

But when are they ever not, for someone, somewhere, for this people or that nation?

Racial epithets are tossed around with abandon, but those insulted are told to not let it bother them?

Refugees flee mortal danger but we think they might harbor terrorists in their midst?

The homeless die in our streets, but we think it’s their fault they have no jobs and no homes?

I don’t know what to think, sometimes, but then I read the Bible and I am told: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

It’s hard to do that when we see the dead and the dying, from an airplane brought down by a bomb, from a shooter in a school, from suicide killers in a city market or from an over-zealous enforcement of the law.

Love your enemies.  Pray for those who persecute you.

Feed the hungry.  Defend the oppressed.  Free the captives.  Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.

Being Christians has often been easy; but not today.  Today, we are faced with the consequences of not just SIN, bur our own sins.  Our sins of omission have left us in a place of desolation, a place of horror and fear and anger.

We don’t want to love our enemies or pray for those who persecute us – we want to blow them into little bits!

How very human.  How very understandable.  How very popular.  How very normal.

How very ineffective.

If we are going to “win” against the “terrorists” then we are going to have to do more than send our young people into the wilderness with guns. 

Because every person we kill, diminishes us.

Because every person we kill creates another reason – however unreasonable – for those we fight against to fight harder themselves and to motivate others to fight us also.

Yet we can’t not do something, because that only seems to encourage the bad actors even more!

Whatever else we may do, we are still called to love our enemies.  Pray for those who persecute us.

We either believe in the power of prayer and of God or we don’t.

The early martyrs went to their deaths at the hands of their oppressors singing hymns and forgiving them (or so the stories tell us).

I don’t have the answer.  I have questions.  I have fear.  But I also have determination to not let my fear rule my heart or my actions.  I will strive to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute. 

Do they not need the love of God even more than I?  

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