“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
When there’s a fall out/ fight, how do you react? Do you bury your head in the sand, or do you aim to bring reconciliation? I don’t know about you, but I don’t always find it easy to say, ‘I’m sorry’.
At our wedding, I can still almost hear the words of the pastor saying to me, “Sam remember to say to Rachael the words, I was wrong”.
“Forgive us our sins as we forgive …”
We cannot forgive in our own strength but in the strength of Christ by the power of the Spirit. We love because he first loved us, because he gives us the strength to love.
We are called not only to love those who are easy to love but also those who are not. Jesus models this; he loved his enemies, those who crucified him, rejected and betrayed him.
Our differences ought to be a strength after all we are all made in the image of God and yet sadly, many times this turns out to be a weakness; a threat, a cause of hurt and violence.
The year was 1994, I was just starting secondary school in Uganda when the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda kicked off. Our screens were full of heart-breaking pictures and stories of the Tutsi and Hutus brothers and sisters of the same land expressing hate for each other. Many Christians and indeed organisations helped mediate reconciliation and bring healing.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said, “There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of the survivors and yet over and over again we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box.” Dear friends, however big or small the cause, “I am sorry, or I was wrong” can be a good place to start.
In our day to day interactions may we be challenged to respond as Jesus would, maybe the acronym WWJD (what would Jesus do) could be a useful tool. Christian author, the late Michael Green, wrote,
“Love is the most attractive quality in the world, and it lies at the heart of Christianity.”
Song: The timeless hymn ‘Amazing Grace” by John Newton, who turned from the evil of the slave trade, is a reminder that God calls me to say sorry for my part in it first after all it takes two to tangle…
Prayer: Jesus, fill our minds with your knowledge, our feelings with your compassion, our bodies with your strength, our spirits with your power, and our hearts with your love. Complete in us the work that you have begun, and bring us in your time, to Glory. Amen.
Prayer Request: For all those working to bring reconciliation today, for God’s blessing on their efforts.