Tuesday, November 10, 2020by Reverend Dan on November 10, 2020
"Ye have heard that it has been said, ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven."
Well, the 2020 election is finally over. (I think. And hope. And pray. Can’t take any more.) Time and history will have to decide the lessons learned from this year’s record turnout for the most basic privilege of living in a democracy (actually a republic). But there is one sentence I read over a month ago that still sticks with me regarding one of the lessons we will take forward. It was from the editor of Christianity Today magazine and he said, “We cannot come together on solutions if we cannot agree on the problems.”
Yea, me too. Kind of a gut punch isn’t it?!
When you think about it, we haven’t been looking at the problems with our world. We’ve been too busy blaming people – the “other side” – for all the negative in the world and in the process the problems become secondary. Sure, we say the “other people” are the problem, but they’re really not, not any more than “we” are.
The problem is that this country has forgotten the art of compromise and abandoned the gift of grace that comes with loving our neighbors. We live in a “win at all costs” culture, and the first casualty of a society like that is the ability to listen and to care. The entitlement and hubris of having to be heard has taken over the country. We believe that if someone doesn’t agree with us, it’s simply because they didn’t hear us. If they heard us, they’d have no choice but to agree because “we” are “right”, and “they” are “wrong”.
Dr. King once said “Jesus realized it is difficult to love those people who seek to defeat you, those people who say evil things about you. But when the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time that you must not do it. Love is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat the evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love. You seek to defeat the system.”
It's time to start to focus on the evil systemic problems and quit hating the people caught up in those systems. In fact, it’s time to love them because “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
“Father, Help us to be Your children and love each other despite our disagreements. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”