King David spends his last breath on those he calls godless, a word that could also be translated as “despicable.” He doesn’t spend a lot of time on them, only two verses, barely longer than a tweet. They’re not worth it. They’re like thorns—prickly, worthless.
We all have despicable people in our lives. Relatives, colleagues, coworkers, neighbors. People who don’t see the world the way we do. People who don’t think like us or believe like us or do things our way. Objectionable. Despicable. What to do with all these despicable people?
King David had a lot of enemies. He knew exactly what to do with most of them. He killed them. Jesus also had a lot of enemies. He knew exactly what to do with them. He ate with them, debated with them, challenged them, and listened to them.
It’s hard enough to get along with our loved ones, the people who generally want what’s best for us. But Jesus asks us to love the people who oppose us, who want to put us down, who want to leave us out. Is that even possible? And if it’s possible, should Jesus expect it of us? Or is this just another ridiculous Jesus thing that sounds nice, but we’re not going to try to do it?
Surely Jesus knows the only way to avoid making enemies is to be so inoffensive that you never stand for anything and never stand up for anyone. Jesus knows that, because who made more enemies than Jesus? And what did he do with them? He loved them.
Got an enemy? You know what to do. Got a Pharisee who thinks you’re a disgrace to your religion? Go eat at his house. Got a disciple willing to sell you for silver? Invite him to your last supper. Got a government putting you to death? With your last breath, ask God to forgive them.

Lord, help me to love even the people who get in my way. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 18:33-37

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Lectionary Week
November 19–25, 2018
Scripture Overview

Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. Upon your deathbed, what would you like your last words to be?
• Read Psalm 132. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated around your table?
• Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear faithful witness to “the Alpha and the Omega”?
• Read John 18:33-37. To whom do you pledge allegiance? To whom do you give lip service?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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