On loving our enemies

Today, I read an insightful devotion in the Northumbria Community’s Celtic Night Prayer. I think it speaks to the world today—especially in light of the controversy in the U.S.A. around building an Islamic centre [some have called it a mosque] near the former twin towers of the World Trade Centre, and the proposed Koran burning by a Christian pastor in Florida. I’ve been following news coverage of these issues on the internet and have been dismayed by the number of angry people—Christian, Muslim, and others—who have threatened violent means of dealing with these issues and speak words of hatred toward one another. Instead of hatred and violence towards our neighbours and yes, even our enemies, the following words of wisdom make for a better way to live and work for a peaceful world where true religious freedom is respected in every nation.

 

   We are called to bless even our enemies. How much more should we pray a blessing on others in the Body of Christ!—especially those we disagree with, or who hold a different view from our own.

   If we ask a blessing on them it is up to God to decide what He can and cannot bless in what they are and what they are doing.

   We are not asked to understand each other first. If there are some elements in the church who really aggravate us it may be more useful to pray a blessing on them than to interact with a critical spirit. As we pray we begin to realize just how much God cares about them.

   We can pray blessings on non-Christian folk, too. It is like pouring glitter over a home-made Christmas card—wherever the glue-stick has prepared the card the glitter will stick, the rest only rolls off, and even a little of the glitter can be enough to spell out a clear message.

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Southern Sudan and independence

Sudan continues to be plagued with tragedy, and forgotten by the Western world. Recently I came across this news article from Ecumenical News International concerning former general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Samuel Kobia. In the article he does not appear to support the movement of Southern Sudan towards independence, which I think is likely the best option for them, as the world seems to care less about their plight, and the oppressive Northern-based Sudan regime continues its persecution of Christians in the South. It looks like the proposed referendum is facing obstacles. It would be the most desired method of attaining independence, if it is not manipulated or rigged. However, if it fails, then the political leaders seem determined to declare independence without a referendum. The latter may not be the best option, however it may be the only viable option in the face of all the others. You can read the whole article here.