My friends are my friends because we like each other. We are kind to each other. We celebrate one another. Friendships take time, energy, and patience, but, in the end, the relationship is based on agreed mutuality.

I am a good friend, but I have one friend who is a great friend. She remembers birthdays and sends a card and gift at least one week before. She remembers what is going on with my children and asks how they are doing. She sends me links to articles she thinks I would find interesting, and she has been known to send me a gift because she noticed on my social media that I was having a rough go of it.

I am probably a better enemy than a friend. I am excellent at carrying a grudge for slights that happened months if not years ago. People who mistreated my children when they were young are still on my list. I don’t seek revenge, but I’ve mastered cold politeness. We call it “Midwest nice.”

But I am also a Christian, and this is when Jesus pushes me to the edge. Honestly, I read this passage and I want to scream. I want Jesus to know why my enemies are my enemies. How can Jesus want me to love the very people who have been the cause of pain for my family and friends?

“What about the racists, Jesus? Do I love them?”

“Yes.”

“What about the people telling me to go back to where I came from? Do I love them?”

“Yes, love them.”

“Why?”

“Because I love you.”

How have I been someone’s enemy? What have I done or become that would make it impossible for another person to love me? Jesus, help me not only to love my enemies but to become less of an enemy. I love because you first loved me. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 6:27-38

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Lectionary Week
February 14–20, 2022
Scripture Overview

Joseph had experienced betrayal by his brothers and then had been sold into slavery. At the time, he no doubt felt abandoned by God. However, after God raises up Joseph in Egypt, Joseph is able to provide for his family in a time of drought. Although others have acted with evil intentions, God uses those actions for good. The psalmist offers a similar encouragement. We struggle in the real challenges that face us, but we believe in a God who can carry us through them. In First Corinthians, Paul explains that God carries us even through death to resurrection glory on the other side. Jesus teaches us to respond to evil with mercy. Because we believe in a God who will ultimately bring justice, we do not need to serve as judge and executioner.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 45:3-11, 15. How would considering your children’s children to seven generations change the way you make decisions?
Read Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40. What is your relationship to the land where you live now and the land where you lived as you grew up?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50. How do you live out the characteristics of God’s imperishable realm?
Read Luke 6:27-38. How do you respond to Jesus’ call to love your enemies? How does your community of faith follow this gospel requirement?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”


Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.