Midweek Message

Lenten Reflections

Allison Tanner

April 8, 2019

Reflections on Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

I think the power of prayer to pray for even our enemies has the calming ability to bring peace into our lives by diverting our focus on stress or hated towards that oppose us, but instead empathize with them for their views or actions. By directing prayer and positive thoughts outward, we also direct it inward toward ourselves. This is the profound message that Jesus wants us to convey through his Gospel message. This action does not come naturally to us. Only through him acting in us can we have the strength to pray for those who would persecute us. (Roehl Cinco)

I grew up on a farm, and as a child my mother taught me the concept of rain falling on everyone’s crops (just and unjust) – and also destructive hail fell on everyone’s crops.  We lived it, so it was easy to believe.   She also was my example of someone who cared for the “unlovely.”   She was so kind to some members of our family who treated her cruelly but she kept on giving no matter what they said or did to her…I kept asking her why she did it and her answer was always the same: “ Because Jesus told us to.”   I only wish she knew how it is my goal, every day, to follow in her footsteps…each day I fail in some way, but I wake up tomorrow and try again.  (Charlene Wolf)