Love

We are called to love. We must love even those who oppress us, responding with goodness to
hatred, and with blessings to curses. This love is to be without any limit at all: “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from
anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.
Thus you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” The bottom line is not a general call to perfection but a very precise call to compassion: Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

The stringent warning is against the principle enemy of love.
I wonder what that could be…hmmmm…?

It is of course judgementalism, the besetting sin of religious
people everywhere, especially for those who take rules too
seriously with its insistence on dividing the world into light and shadow, clean and unclean, insider and outsider.

Luke 6:27-38

27 ‘But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If
anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to
everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even
sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’

 

 

 

Rector Alstonville