Category Archives: love of enemies
April 26, 2017 by jmar198013
Many look to the book of Acts as a blueprint for how the church ought to be, but it’s really more of a portrait of how the church was–and often is.
Luke makes sure we see both the low points and the high spots of the first decades of the church. We see some of these in our lesson today, as the church deals with a problem of neglect of minority widows; overwhelmed (and out of touch?) leadership; and the brutal lynching of one of its ministers. These stories all show us both low points and high spots in the life of the early church.
April 12, 2017 by jmar198013
Because of Good Friday, in the darkness of this present age, we feel Jesus’ nail-pierced hands grasp our hands; and his feet walk beside our feet. And the same voice that told someone suffering beside him in the darkness: “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.” That voice says to us: Child, I know. They did it to me, too.
February 3, 2017 by jmar198013
When the people saw Jesus at work, they said: “God has come to help his people.” And just maybe, if we follow Jesus—bringing the Good News of God’s salvation to the dark and desperate corners of our time, even across enemy lines—people will also see our work, and conclude that God has come to help them. Through his people.
January 27, 2017 by jmar198013
The Sabbath was meant for the release, rest, and healing of those who had been slaves. But what happens when a law that was meant to give comfort to former slaves morphs into another form of bondage? How can it be a day of rest and release if you’re so worried about doing it wrong, you can’t really celebrate it? Those Pharisees would have people become slaves to the Sabbath. Jesus came to set people free. And he came to set the Sabbath free. So it could serve humanity, the way God meant it to.
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September 22, 2016 by jmar198013
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April 28, 2016 by jmar198013
During John’s telling of the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples many things as he is preparing for his death, and resurrection; and finally, to return to his Father, God. One assurance he gives them during all the turbulence and upheaval that will follow his departure is: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.”
How does the world give? The world does not give peace. The world gives us fear so we will buy their versions of peace: military, personal, financial, or material security. But Jesus gives his peace. A peace that comes from knowing that we are perfectly loved by the Father; and “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4.18).
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April 23, 2016 by jmar198013
A few hours before he was arrested and executed, Jesus told his followers: “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another as I have loved you.”
He didn’t say everyone will know his disciples by their right doctrines, their fancy buildings, their cutting-edge programs, their animatronic Noah’s Ark exhibits, their wealth, their fancy worship productions, their politics, or their family values. He said everyone will know his disciples by their love.
And since people are prone to say and do all kinds of things to each other and call it love, Jesus put an even finer point on it: “Love each other as I have loved you.”
How has Jesus loved you?