We were sitting around the table on a Friday- waiting. Waiting for someone to come so one person could go on an adventure. Waiting for someone else to carry on with their day. The clock seemed to slowly make its way around, minute by minute. Waiting characterizes so much of our everyday lives. I will be the first to admit. I don’t always wait well. Long lines at a restaurant, traffic that slows you down, or people running late to meetings can be highly inconvenient. We are forced to learn to wait in the everyday moments of our lives…
In Matthew, Jesus was exhorting the people to go beyond their common knowledge of loving their neighbor. The people listening to him would have understood his example of challenging a wrong action. It made sense that there should be an equal compensation paid for a wrong. Yet, Jesus took the common belief of the day and turned it around. Instead of looking for the moment to get back at someone, He challenged the people to love in a different way. Instead of loving people who do good to you, intentionally love and pray for the people who frustrate and oppose you. The concept of “getting even” goes against God’s mandate. While it can be easy to like the people who like us, we come to know more fully Christ’s love for us when we love others even when they don’t deserve it.
Scripture: “God spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites, ‘Above all, keep my Sabbaths, the sign between me and you, generation after generation, to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy. Keep the Sabbath; it’s holy to you. Whoever profanes it will most certainly be put to death. Whoever works on it will
Scripture: “But they, our ancestors, were arrogant; bullheaded, they wouldn’t obey your commands. They turned a deaf ear, they refuse to remember the miracles you had done for them; they turned stubborn, got it into their head to return to their Egyptian slavery. And you, a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, incredibly patient, with tons of love— you didn’t dump them. Yes, even
Scripture: “Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up