23 Aug It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood with Rev. Kyle Dore – August 23, 2020
“IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD”
“Rain or Shine”
Scripture: Matthew 5:38-48
Eye for Eye
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
“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.
Here’s a beautiful prayer for enemies by the 11th century Benedictine monk, Anselm of Canterbury.
Almighty and tender Lord Jesus Christ,
Just as I have asked you to love my friends,
so I ask the same for my enemies.
You alone, Lord, are mighty.
You alone are merciful.
Whatever you make me desire for my enemies,
give it to them and give the same back to me.
If I ever ask for them anything which is outside your perfect rule of love,
whether through ignorance, weakness or malice,
good Lord, do not give it to them
and do not give it back to me.
You who are the true light, lighten their darkness.
You who are the whole truth, correct their errors.
You who are the incarnate word, give life to their souls.
Tender Lord Jesus,
let me not be a stumbling block to them,
nor a rock of offense.
My sin is sufficient to me, without harming others.
I, a slave to sin, beg your mercy on my fellow slaves.
Let them be reconciled with you,
and through you reconciled to me. Amen.
Devotional: from Pastor Doug Crouse
Of course we are all familiar with how one treats one’s enemy. The word enemy means: ‘One hostile to another; one who hates another; a foe; an adversary; a hostile force’. And it’s just plain human nature that when an enemy hits, you hit back…. only harder and humanly speaking smarter. We don’t have to look any further than the first family and see that attitude between Cain and Abel when these kinds of feelings are acted upon the results are devastating, even between brothers and in families!
But, ‘The Law of Christ’, is entirely different and counter to what ones’ normal human tendencies may be. Rather than responding with hatred, we are called to respond with God’s love, as He does each and every day with the sun shining everywhere with another opportunity for anyone anywhere to discover His new mercies.
Instead of lashing out with our tongues with words of hatred, strife and dissension, we are called instead to take our ‘enemies’ to the Lord and in the name of Jesus pray that His grace and blessing would come into their lives, as eternity truly hangs in the balance.
For there is coming a day when everyone, everywhere will stand before the Judge of all hearts. On that day people who were unkind and unjust, and unrepentant will have to answer to Almighty God for each and every deed and motive by which they lived.
We too who name the name of Jesus will stand before His judgment seat to receive our reward for the good things that we have done in the body. As we have exhibited the same kind of goodness and mercies that everyone receives each and every day on earth from the Creator above, we will be rich indeed in our reward to the greater glory of Christ Jesus our living and loving Lord!
Questions to ask:
Many of us will have people in our lives, past or present, that we might not be overly fond of (that’s the polite way to put it).
Can we take those feelings to God for resolution?
Can we leave that mistrust/animosity/uncertainty/anger with God and ask him to ‘create in us a clean heart’?
Could we even pray for that person?