Our scripture this week is Matthew 5:43-48.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 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. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus gives us a difficult commandment in this passage – “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. The instruction to love our neighbor as ourselves is hard enough, but love our enemies? That’s pretty tough, Lord!
Jesus asks us to be an example to the world, to show the children of God choose love instead of indifference or hate. He tells us even those who have no relationship with God love their own people and those who treat them well. Those who claim the name of Jesus are called to do more.
Jesus always asks more of us because we have been given more. No, God doesn’t love us more than others – God is love and His love is given equally to all His people. However, our relationship to God compels us to be more and do more. This is how the world will know we are Christians – by our love.
Gracious God, Your love extends to all of creation, blessing everyone to be connected to You through that love. Let us be a channel for Your love, that by our words and actions all nations may know Your saving mercy. Amen.