To love in the face of pain…..

This weeks XY Online blog

Rows of gravesIn the news this week, as two hostages in Iraq are confirmed as murdered, we ask what does Jesus mean by “Love your enemies”?

This is such a personal issue that it is really hard to comment on.  For me who has not been touched by the tragedies of war and conflict, I feel that I can’t really comment.  But I know others who have been affected by such tragedies that they (rightly in my opinion) feel strongly about this.

We heard this week of the Vicar of Baghdad who knew the two people taken hostage and murdered.  He and his congregation prayed for them daily but they weren’t released.  So where does that leave us??

Jesus tells us to love our enemies.  But what does that really mean?

Well to me, Jesus tells me to love, respect and care for those who disagree with me.  Jesus recognises that we all have different and differing opinions, and sometimes (in extreme cases) this causes us to rise against each other in conflict.  But with God and Jesus at the centre, we can surely treat each other properly.

I heard last night of the story of the Flanders’ fields in World War One.  These were graveyards set aside for British or German troupes, but the opposing armies would not do anything to desecrate the graveyards because each side respected the fact that the opposing side treaded the deceased with dignity and honour.  Jesus did not tell us to agree with our enemies, but he gave us a bigger challenge – to love them despite what we think of their views.

In today’s society, with the rise of BNP in Britain, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who can say that this is not good advice?  Certainly not me – may I love my enemies in the way that Jesus showed me how.

And may we all look to love those who we dislike or disagree with in the weeks and months ahead.

Simon

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