While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. Romans 5:10
READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:16-21
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached on a Sunday morning in 1957, he fought the temptation to retaliate against a society steeped in racism.
“How do you go about loving your enemies?” he asked the Dexter Avenue Baptist congregation in Montgomery, Alabama. “Begin with yourself. . . . When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it.”
Quoting from the words of Jesus, King said: “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons 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.” (Matthew 5:44-45).
As we consider those who harm us, we are wise to remember our former status as enemies of God (see Romans 5:10). But “[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,” wrote Paul (2 Corinthians 5:18). Now we have a holy obligation. “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (verse 19).
We are to take that message to the world. Racial and political tensions are nothing new. But the business of the church is never to feed divisiveness. We should not attack those unlike us or those who hold different opinions or even those who seek our destruction. Ours is a “ministry of reconciliation” that imitates the selfless servant-heart of Jesus.
REFLECT & PRAY
In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth. John Oxenham
Hate destroys the hater as well as the hated. Martin Luther King Jr.