“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
I received a phone call that caught me by surprise. It was a blistering, angry, message that burned my ears and bruised my heart. “Most disgusting service I ever attended”, the voice said.
I had been asked to conduct the funeral of a church member. In a meeting with the family, I learned things that were helpful to know as I prepared for the funeral service. But what I said in that service had angered this person. So she had called and said those things.
How should I respond? As I absorbed her anger, I prayed for grace and wisdom.
I never heard from her again. But I thought of her often with pain and heaviness. Every time I felt upset or troubled by this matter, I heard Jesus’ words in our text for today: respond with love, bless those who curse you, pray for them. With hurting but loving concern, I placed this situation in the hands of our gracious and loving God. The peace I feel as a result, though not untroubled, is real. Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you, Lord, for your gracious ways in our lives. Give us the grace to pray for people who curse us, and to love those who hate. In Jesus, Amen.