Love Your Enemies?!

Tony Vis

READ : Luke 6:27-36

These words of Jesus are appropriate for our reflection on this day when the birth of Martin Luther King is observed. Jesus isn’t talking here about loving those whom it is easiest for us to love. Jesus is talking about choosing to love those we have cause to hate. He is talking about those who have wronged us those who mistreat us. Says Jesus, “Love your enemies!” That’s radical stuff. But it is the kind of stuff that can change the world.

Love towards those we have cause to hate is a choice. Love is more than a feeling; it is an act. It is not a noun to be possessed, but a verb to be acted upon in obedience to God. Love is a matter of the will before it is a matter of the heart. Can you imagine a world based upon this rule of love? Arabs and Jews sitting down at a peace table, settingaside their anger, and choosing to ask one another, “How can we make life better for both of our peoples?” Whites and blacks in American cities getting together, and choosing to ask, “How can we make life better for all races?”

Radical stuff from a radical Lord who calls His followers to be a radical people. “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” That is God’s antidote to the poison of violence and rage that surrounds us.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, give me a loving spirit so that I can embrace even those who have hurt me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.