Ann Carole Tremain Smith
- The views expressed here are solely my own, are a work in process, will change over time, & don't necessarily reflect views of any specific person (husband, family, friends) or entity (employer, church, school) associated with me.
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Christ told us how to survive when He answered the question, Who is my neighbor? In the book of Luke He tells the story of the Samaritan who cared for a Jew. Jews and Samaritans were enemies. To modernize and to understand Christ’s answer, we may substitute any enemy: fundamentalist Christian and fundamentalist Muslim, Palestinian and Israeli, right-winged conservative and left-winged liberal. The answer: your neighbor is anyone who needs help, regardless.
The embarrassment of the Gospel: it’s utterly scandalous and ‘unexpectable’ from the premise of modern society. Don’t resist evil. If you’re slapped, turn your cheek. Love your enemies. When cursed, bless. When hated, be kind. When mistrusted, pray for them. Do we offer the charity of Christ to our enemies?
As believers we need to remember “Jesus’ repeated admonitions to His disciples: You don’t know; you don’t understand; you’ve got it wrong.” The Gospels only partially reveal. “We are condemned but also are highly privileged to live our way into, trusting properly that to our little knowledge greater knowledge may be revealed. It is this privilege that should make us wary of any attempt to reduce faith to a rigmarole of judgements and explanations about God.”
The Bible talks about abundant life and there are those that equate that with a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger bank account. They are wrong, of course. “Abundance cannot refer to an abundance of material possessions, for life does not require material abundance.” Jesus asks His followers to see that the way to more abundant life is the way of LOVE. We are to love the strangers, our enemies in a practical way, here and now. “ALL humans, friends, and enemies alike, have the same dignity, deserve the same respect, and are worthy of the same compassion because they are, ALL, made in God’s image.”
If we take the Gospels seriously we must live and work so as not to be estranged from God’s presence in His work and in all His creatures! Jesus is all about love, “which raises another question that plunges us into the abyss of our ignorance: How are we to make of that love an economic practice?”
A question with many answers and most we cannot even comprehend. “Meanwhile, may Heaven guard us from those who think they already have all the answers.”
This entry was posted in Compassion, Empty Nest, Family, Friendship, Holiness, Hope, Love, Note to self, Peace & Politics, Religion & Christianity, Spirituality and tagged Christian perspective, enemies, Good News, Gospel, journey, love, peacemaker, Religion and Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.