Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Readings for Today

You will notice to the right, in my Blogroll, is an entry for The Lectionary. The Lectionary readings are scheduled so that every three years you read completely through the Bible. Actually, my sect, which is Episcopalian (the American version of Anglican, although the two have been closer at some times than others) shares the same readings with many other Christians, we also have some books/chapters in our Bible that most of the main-line Protestant bibles don’t have.

Today’s gospel reading is one of the hardest ones. You look at it and you read it and it SOUNDS so simple:

Luke 6:27-38

27 ‘But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.
31Do 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.
33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34If 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.
35But 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. 36Be 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;
38give, 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.’

There is nothing easy about loving your enemy. One priest, as I was anguishing through this passage, told me “You don’t have to LIKE them, but you MUST love them.” That helped, but still, loving your enemy is probably the hardest thing on earth to do. And “Do not judge”????? Holy smokes, we judge one another on a daily basis, and usually not to their credit.

Give, even if you think the begger may be lying?

And then, the hardest one of all – “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” So like, if I don’t forgive . . . I don’t get forgiveness? Like I have to give up my grudges, the chip on my shoulder? I have to forgive the unforgivable, the personal insults, the slights, the jerk who cuts me off on the road? I have to forgive my neighbor? I have to forgive my friend? My husband? George Bush? Osama bin Laden? I have to forgive to receive forgiveness??

But, at the last, the reward – that no matter how hard it is, if you follow these rules, abundant life will be poured in your lap.

You can follow the daily readings by clicking on the Lectionary, in the blogroll, and scrolling down to the current week. Click on the week and it will take you to the daily readings, which include the Psalms, the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Gospel. The reading above, from Luke, is today’s Gospel reading.

May 2, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Cultural, Family Issues, Random Musings, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual

4 Comments »

  1. i dont think there is anything harder than that.

    but i think alot of it has less to do with actual forgiveness of the sinner, but rather a way for us to move forward rather than get bogged down in all the wrong that has been done to us. cos sometimes you get stuck when you cant forgive, to the point where you miss some really great things while wallowing in your own self pity.

    not sure if i’m being clear enough,… but ever remember a time when you just woke up one day and thought that thing (whatever it was)really doesnt matter? its like a huge weight off your shoulder that allows you to soldier on to greater things.

    Comment by skunk | May 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. I think you are exactly right – sometimes you just have to give it up and move on. But it’s a lot harder to say than to do, isn’t it?

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 2, 2007 | Reply

  3. I think forgiving your enemy is to your own benefit not only because it stops the anger from eating at you but also because it makes you more deserving of forgiveness yourself. But loving your enemy…I just don’t think it’s possible. I can’t even imagine. It’s hard enough not to pray against them, loving them seems just completely impossible. But I think the real question here is to define “love your enemy”. I mean who do you use the word “love” for? Your parents, your siblings, your kids, your friends…are you going to ever be capable of using that same word, “love”, for your enemy? The same feeling you feel for your child you feel for your enemy? I just couldn’t imagine.

    Comment by 1001Nights | May 2, 2007 | Reply

  4. 1001, you and Skunk are two of my most thoughtful readers. You make such good points. “Love your enemy” is tough, but I have seen amazing things happen by praying for my “enemy”, i.e. someone who doesn’t like me and actively tries to undermine me in the workplace, social arena, etc. Amazing things can happen when you leave room for change.

    But how about:
    28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you

    I think that means the people on the road! I have to pray for those very jerks who endanger my life! Aaarrrgh!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 3, 2007 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: