Pray for my enemies. You got to be kidding!
Several years ago, I remember my Pastor having a prayer in our Altar Prayers for Osama Bin Laden. He was praying that the heart of this terrorist would be changed and He would receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I have to admit to you I was not to impressed by this prayer/petition. And in fact, I was rather set back by it. In my mind I was really thinking about this terrorist being taken out of this world. Or at least the hope he would be captured and be subjected to the harshest punishment possible. Certainly this would be a just payment for this purely evil man's crimes against humanity. Do unto others as others have done unto you, right!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6:27-38 we hear a completely different perspective from our Lord Jesus. Jesus said, "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Jesus goes on to say later in the passage, "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will e sons of the Most High. Be merciful as your Father is merciful. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
Whoa here, is what Jesus is telling us to do really possible in this world? Is it possible for people like you and me to act like that, especially towards our enemies? No, not of our own accord it isn't. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, and a faith that desires to be like Jesus, all things are possible! Scripture tells us quite clearly God desires for all people to be saved, even the Bin Ladens of this world. It may not make sense to you and me, yet God's ways are not our ways, nor God's thoughts our thoughts. As high as the heavens are above the earth are God's ways above ours.
Let us remember that while we were still sinners, past, present, and future, Christ died and rose again or you, me, and Osama Bin Laden. One day we will all stand before the judgement seat of God and I hope we can pray for our enemies that they to might be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor McCarty