Below is “The Monday Minute,” a short audio re-cap of yesterday’s message, follow-up by an accompanying write-up. Have a blessed week!
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
Gerry Brooks cracks me up! He’s a principle in Lexington, KY who is REAL about the struggles and pressures of being an educator. But Gerry deals with it all in the most hilarious of ways. He records this video “shorts,” about a minute to a minute and a half long from his car, usually. Each video has a “surrgestion” or recommendation as to how to make life a little bit better.
In one particular video, Gerry has a purple prize pumpkin from Walmart. He has some normal stuff to hand out a blessings to others and some not-so-normal hand outs, things like chicken legs and gas station hotdogs. But in the end, Gerry gets it: it is all about bringing blessings to the world.
In our text for today, Jesus sets out to distinguish Godly love from worldly love. Its easy to love those who love you, but its Divine to love those who don’t love you. This kind of love, exuding from the hearts and lives of faithful Christians, is what separates us from everyone and everything else. We are called to give this kind of love and we can only do that if we receive it, first, from The Father.
My two favorite verses from the text are the first and last. The first challenges us to ask, “Am I willing to listen to the voice of God? Am I willing to accept the call to love as God loves, loving even my enemy?!” And the last verse calls us to be compassionate or merciful as God is compassionate/merciful. These are HARD things to do these days, especially in light of the election and the ensuing venom from all sides of the aisle. But as Children of God this IS the call, the expectation, and the Holy Spirit will equip each of us to love with a Divine love so that we can truly bring blessin’s to the world.