Lent Challenge 3

Our challenge this week is to pray for an enemy. Each day, take some time to pray for someone who has hurt or offended you, or maybe you can pray for someone whom you have a difficult relationship with. Pray for those people, send them some love and compassion this week.

Join us in the conversation on Facebook this week, or send your comments to ce@ucim.org to be shared.

Pray for an enemy – By Gord

“Few of us have ENEMIES.”  So opined Nora Sanders, General Secretary of our denomination, when she recently reflected on the scripture “Love your enemies.”  As a result we may not take Jesus’ command seriously. 

So let’s call it, hyperbole (a technique Jesus used when he said, if we call someone “fool” we are liable to hell fire … not that Jesus believed in hell as a big stick to force us to behave … rather he wanted to shock us into seeing that even mild estrangement impairs the depth of kin_dom bliss).  So let’s see in the term “enemies,” all those who annoy us, who frustrate us, who frighten us, who takes political business or social positions opposing us. Can we overcome the sense that others are different and less than us, and overcome estrangement?

Lent observations on Love Your Enemies – By Myles Hildebrand

            Loving your enemies is a difficult topic for Christians – perhaps because we like to think we don’t actually have any enemies. But then something terrible happens and our emotions tell us who we really hate.  Most people love and pray for their family and neighbors, and maybe for good people everywhere, but Christianity goes against the grain by saying: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44). This call to a higher ideal, however impractical, is one of the hardest spiritual developments Christians face.

            I think one of the first times I was in the United Church in Meadowood was the Sunday after Sept 11, 2001. Many people were in churches all over the country, rocked by the events of the Tuesday before. And I was thinking – can I forgive the highjackers or Osama Bin Laden? It was a real challenge – to pray for someone who you are not happy with – and not to pray for ill for them, but for them to see a better way. Just this week, we had another reminder of people’s hostility to their fellow humans, and we pray for the victims, but do we pray for the victimizer? Do we go with the very understandable anger at someone who hurts innocents, or do we try to understand how hurt the attacker may have been, and pray that others who hate can find a better way?

            A recent survey said that about a quarter of Canadians say they ‘hate’ those in other political parties – both left and right wing. We’re more divided than ever, and common ground seems ever more elusive. We pray for our leaders, that they may do the right thing… but perhaps we have to pray for leaders when we know they probably are not going to do what we consider fair and just. When we’ve been wronged, praying for those who have wronged us is not about letting them off the hook, but realizing how on the hook we all are. We might all be villains in someone else’s story, and trying to love the unloveable is one way we can release the burdens on ourselves.

Sometimes part of loving our enemies or those we don’t agree with means saying sorry, even when we don’t really want to.

It can be hard to love our “enemies”. This article explores what Jesus wants of us when he talks about loving your enemies.

How To Love Your Enemies

Is loving your enemies an unreasonable command? This article digs deep into how we can love those who commit terrible acts.

What it Actually Means to Love Your Enemies

Martin Luther King’s Love Your Enemies Speech

And the People Said

The ceremony was fantastic and we received a number of compliments on how nice everything was.

M. & B. J. - recently married at UCiM

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