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Friday, June 10, 2011

Love Your Enemies

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-"‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,* what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."-Matthew 5: 43-48

So how do we, as Christians, greet the news of Osama Bin Laden's death?  On the one hand, he was a terrible guy who did some really awful things to a lot of people.  There is little question the world is better off without him.  But yet, to jump up and down in glee at a death, even his death, somehow does not seem faithful to me.  I have enjoyed reading Facebook debates on this very issue, and have answered other questions about it like, "do you think there is any way that guy could go to heaven?"  I had thought I would not address the topic at all, since a sermon on Osama Bin Laden's death doesn't sound all that fun to me, but instead I will simply say this to you.  Read the passage above from Matthew; read Jesus' words, and ask yourself how the faithful ought to respond.

Prayer:  Holy God, please help me to be your faithful follower in all moments of my life.  Please help me to find comfort and solace in you, and to maintain a faithful perspective in these trying days.  I pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

[Phillip Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church

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