Our scripture this morning is Romans 12:9-21.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul gives us much to think about in this passage. While he speaks of many different behaviors, all are demonstrations of God’s love for us. We are expected to share His love with the world in the same way, without judging or justifying.
The end of this lesson tells us to love even our enemies and to treat them in the same way as our friends. This is not easy to hear and harder to live out. We have the ultimate example of this in Jesus asking God to forgive those who were about to execute Him.
Christ came to bring God’s forgiveness to everyone, regardless of their situation. At some point we have all fallen, needing forgiveness and a renewed connection with Him. Accept the love that makes this possible and the call to share it with everyone.
Gracious God, we are humbled that You reach out to us in our failings with the promise of forgiveness and salvation. May we carry this blessing to all the world in Your name. Amen.