Matthew 5: 43-45
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
We all have our reasons for how we live our lives. Much of that reasoning operates below the surface of our movements and perceptions in the course of any given day. There is a logic that abides within the habits of heart and mind that informs and sustains our assumptions, attitudes, and actions.
Jesus has a knack for exposing and challenging the foundational logic of everyday life.
“But, I say to you…”
How ready, how able am I to hear the challenge Jesus poses to the underlying logic that justifies and determines my actions and attitudes day in and day out?
From our perch in the early 21st Century, we ponder how in the world so many who have gone before could have abided so much that we now find so utterly reprehensible: the enslavement of fellow human beings and the fundamental logic that justified it and legitimated the degrading social practices in everyday life that extended well beyond the “end of slavery”, the logic that legitimated the inferiority of women and justified attitudes and actions that were pervasive in society, the underlying assumptions that would lead a people to enact a holocaust against the Jewish people. As mystified as we may be about how such reasoning could have held sway over so many for so long, we know that such reasoning is not without traction in our day.
Our need never diminishes to listen for that upending word, that inconvenient ‘but’ that interrupts our settled logic about God, ourselves, and our neighbor.
Prayer: Gracious God, as I move through this day, expose where I have become unwilling to have my reasoning interrupted. Amen.