CALL TO WORSHIP
Together, we gather to be present to the God who is already present to us.
However you are joining us, we encourage you to participate in the work of God today as He speaks and leads us. Wherever you are, God is already present and at work all around us. Let’s join Him!
OUR SCRIPTURE READING
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:27-38 NIV
God of the faithful and the faithless, God of the ungrateful and righteous alike,
Restore to each of us the compassion that You created us to be filled with.
Show us that the golden rule – doing to others as we would have them do to us – is the narrow gate by which we enter your Kingdom. May this radical love set both oppressed and oppressors free.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and reveal to us daily that your inherent kindness is our hope of glory. We bless your name with thanksgiving and gratitude. Amen.
QUESTIONS AND PRACTICES
1. How would you describe having a “Christlike posture” towards those who are different from us? How can we do so without compromising our convictions?
2. “Do not judge” doesn’t mean do not discern what is good, beautiful, and true. What are some of the ways we distort the idea of judgment as seen in the Scriptures, and what does it look like to get it right?
3. Like the Pharisee, we’re often tempted to pridefully stand over others in judgment. Be honest – where do you see this temptation arising in you? Who are you tempted to judge from a place of superiority?
Judgement And Self Awareness.
Sometimes we don’t see what’s happening in us until we slow down and pay attention to our inner world – our feelings, fears, and anger towards others and ourselves. This week, take some time to reflect on your posture towards those who disagree with you on issues big and small. How might you enter a more Christlike posture and live with humble confidence in who you are in Christ?
Also, take some time to read Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1957 sermon “Loving Your Enemies.” His perspective and wisdom are life-giving – especially in today’s polarized world.