Love Your Enemies
From the pastor's desk,
Hubert Humphrey was a former vice-president in the 1960's. When he died hundreds of people from across the world attended his funeral. All were welcome, but one - former President Richard Nixon who lived through the humiliation of Watergate. As he entered for worship at the funeral, conversations ran dry around him & he could feel the isolation forming around him. He also felt the hatred many felt toward him.
Then Jimmy Carter, a democrat and the new president, walked into the room. As he moved into his seat President Carter noticed Richard Nixon standing all alone. He immediately rose from his seat, walked over to Richard Nixon, a Republican, held out his hand, and smiling genuinely and broadly, embraced him and said, "Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!"
This incident was reported in Newsweek magazine which concluded this article by saying, "If there was a turning point in Nixon's lonely ordeal in the wilderness of being hated, shunned and ridiculed it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion."
America is so politically polarized, especially with midterm elections approaching and the controversy over the pending Senate vote for a new Supreme Court Justice. Fellow citizens and politicians alike are seeing and even treating people who oppose their ideology as "the enemy." Much unnecessary anger and hatred is in the air.
I believe that Jesus speaks to our nation's situation today. He said, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:44-45). In the Parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus taught that His followers must demonstrate love to all kinds of people-no matter what faith, nationality, ideology or personality - enemies included. If you love your enemies and "pray for those who persecute you," you then truly reveal that Jesus is Lord of your life and have His love in your heart. We are only strong in the FAITH when we are able to LOVE all people, regardless!
Looking forward to seeing you in church this Sunday