Focus Scripture: Romans 12:17-21
Today's scriptures are a wealth of images, familiar phrases and lessons on living faithfully. The focus scriptures are familiar, but hard for us to live by.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . . Do not take revenge, my dear friends, . . . On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- We are attacked by Muslim extremists--keep all Muslims out of the country.
- We are attacked by Muslims--attack anyone in a turban.
- The justice system does not give justice--riot or shoot at police.
- Drug dealers bring violence to our cities, create a criminal justice system with no mercy for anyone involved in drugs.
- Even in our humor and entertainment, someone steals your parking space, ram their car with yours: "Face it, I'm older and I have more insurance." (Fried Green Tomatoes)
This is what it means to be counter-cultural. Jesus was counter-cultural and we can be too. Through the grace of God, we can show love to our enemies. Through the wisdom of God, we can understand what makes others act as they do so we can disrupt the systems that ignite the problem, rather than simply punish those who are reacting within it, Through the Spirit of God, we can learn to love even our enemies and by doing so, make them our brothers and sisters.