Monday, June 30, 2008

Peace and love with those we call "enemy"

I am sooooo very tired as I type this, but I'm trying to persevere as the clock strikes almost midnight. No rest for the weary momma.

If you read my blog regularly, you know that my Monday posts (now almost Tuesday) are written for my precious church families that I have the privilege of serving each week at church.
We began a series a few weeks ago and I wanted to help keep us connected by writing a brief summary or my own "food for thought" from what the sermon was about on Sunday.

Well....how do you like this title.....

"Prince of Peace"

Sounds simple and easy doesn't it??

Ummmmm......no, it's not.

Because this particular week, our pastor used war as its backdrop for peace preaching.

Hello???!!! This is deep, hard, thought provoking stuff.

Matthew 5:43-48

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons 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. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Well, this is fine and all until you throw in the three letter word of w-a-r. How in the world do we love our enemies when we want to strangle people, shake some sense into them, and can't figure out for the life of us, what in the world they are thinking????!!!!!

I'm not venturing down that road because honestly, I'm too tired and have to go back to MS to play baseball soon so I just can't handle the deep thoughts right now, much less explain them.

So....I'll simply ask this question....

"How do we believe in Jesus, follow His ways, seek Him through His Word, and then go out and kill people in war?"

It's a tough one and something I have swirled around and around in my mind. I have my own thoughts and my own opinions, but I'm not going down that road.

I just want to encourage you to think, pray, and explore a bit more of what Jesus means when He tells us to love our enemies and what that love should look like. What exactly did Jesus mean?

This is good stuff. I can't wait to hear what you might have to say.

I love you all. Have a great week. I've got 101 pix coming soon. :)
Hugs and blessings~
Fran

7 comments:

BethAnne said...

Wow Fran, that is deep discussion for a midnight post. I am anxious to see what comments you get on this one. I, too, have wondered about that very question....how can we reconcile the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment with the wars in the name of public safety that we see today.
In the Old Testament, God would send His people to overtake a group in order to further His plan (ie. the promised land, etc). Maybe it is no different today. I believe that the religion of Islam will and does play a major part in the end times, maybe our wars with Muslims are only furthering God's plan.
Hope you got some sleep last night!

Denise said...

Such a thought provoking post sweetie, love you.

ocean mommy said...

I'm going to have to ponder that one! I will say that the passage you referenced was in my Bible study time last week...it just keeps popping up in my life. Okay...I'm going to read it again because I have a feeling I'm not "getting" what He is trying to tell me. :0

Have a blast and I'm looking forward to seeing those pictures!

love you
steph.

Patty said...

Wow!! Deep stuff my friend!! I know what I would say off the top of head but I am going to compose my answer and come back. I never want to offend anyone with my opinions but it's just that, my opinion. I will ponder on this and come back.
Love,
Patty

littlerad said...

I have found in my life time, that prayer and love shown to your enemies soften there hearts...
Loved this post thank you, you are in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

Melinda said...

Man...this is a heavy topic! There are a few topics that I can't completely reconcile in my little ole human brain, and this is one of them. We have "thou shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13) and "love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44), but we also have "there is a time for war" (Eccl. 3:8). Pointed out in Matthew 24:6 (also in Mark and Luke) is that we are to expect war in the end times; that it has to happen to fulfill prophecy, but we are not to be alarmed. We are also to follow the authority of our land (Romans 13:1-7). So where does that leave us?

I can only speak for myself, but it leaves me resting in what I know of God. Even if I don't get it or understand its purpose, I DO trust that HIS purpose is perfect and victorious. And that's enough, until we can hang out and He can give me the official 411.

Very thought-provoking!

Jen said...

You know what is awesome about you, Fran? You are an encourager! You encourage me FORWARD in my faith, you challenge me, and you make me think.

You are a beautiful soul and I treasure the day we became blogland friends :)

God bless you!
<3 jen

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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