“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . . .”
— Matthew 5:43-44
In our campus ministry at Medicine Hat (Alberta) College, we gather on campus to sing, to read and reflect on Scripture, and to pray. The students who form our little church were born in many different countries. The tone of our skin ranges from very pale to very dark. Though we come from diverse backgrounds, our love for God and for one another is amazing. When I read in Revelation 7:9 of the great multitude in heaven “from every nation, tribe, people and language,” our little campus church comes to mind. Our fellowship is sweet, and we eagerly invite others to join us.
However, our world is very different from this fellowship. The world is deeply divided along political, economic, religious, ethnic, and racial lines. In fact, the divisions in our world are nearly endless. When Jesus calls us to love our enemies, he certainly includes those who are different from me.
Our world is content to live with friend/enemy distinctions, loving friends and hating enemies, but Jesus calls us to love friend and enemy alike. We cannot do this on our own, but through the power of the Holy Spirit we can extend true love to everyone. As we love friend and enemy alike, we give this world a glimpse of what the world to come will be.
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for us even though we were your enemies. Help us to love our enemies for your sake. Amen.