“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; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48, NRSV)
Love your neighbors and hate your enemy…
No love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you!
Really? Those who wish to cause me harm, and to see bad things happen to me, I need to pray for them and love them!
Because the rain falls on the just and the unjust, the righteous and the unrighteous.
If we only love those who love us or can do something for us, how will the world see we are different? How will they know that they need what we have if we are just like everyone else?
We will not be different, they will not see the love of God in us. We must show the love that pulled us out of the depths when we did not deserve it, so that others will be drawn to God.