Who is my enemy? Last Sunday, we reflected on our Christian mandate to speak against injustice. Yet in our culture, when we seek justice, the person on the other side of the issue often turns into the enemy. So, who is my enemy? The perpetrator? The person across the border? The clinic worker? The law enforcement officer? The elected official? The other political party? Our entire country is becoming dangerously divided into friends and enemies.
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” As Christians, we simultaneously speak against injustice and love the person. God, who is love, sees each person—no matter how fallen—as loved, not as an enemy. You may have a different opinion and still be a friend, at least not an enemy.
When we hate, brothers quickly become enemies, starting with Cain and Abel. As parents/grandparents, we name grace—God’s loving presence—by teaching our children how to disagree with a sibling and yet remain friends. We name grace by helping our children to resolve differences without name calling or degrading behavior. We model grace by praying for those who hurt us and reconciling after a disagreement with a spouse or child.
Jesus entered the world to reverse this hatred and to show us God’s plan of love. Though difficult, we must hold the tension of speaking against injustice and loving the person who we believe is committing an injustice. If not, we quickly degrade into hatred and become our own worst enemy.
Jesus shows the better way, the higher ground, the healing method while working for justice: pray when mistreated, do good—even the simplest act of kindness—to those who hate us, and bless those who curse us. In this way, God changes hearts and brings about the kingdom of God, which is love. Now, that’s good news!
How will you teach your children to love in the face of injustice?
Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To read more about God's grace in everyday life or to connect with me, please contact me: www.marypedersen.com.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.