Against the Grain

Today’s reading is Luke 6: 20-36

rootedchristToday we see that our faith is going to always be something that goes against the grain of this world.  Our faith must always be different.  Our faith must not look like the world in which we live.  We are called to be in the world but not of the world.  Today’s reading shows that two us in two powerful ways.

First, we see the blessings that Jesus gives.  In Matthew’s Gospel, these are the Beatitudes.  Blessed are the poor.  The weak.  The hungry.  Those that weep.  Blessed are you when people curse at you and persecute you.  And woe to the rich.  The powerful.  The full.  Those that are laughing.  Our Father sees the needs of all.  Our faith says that this world is not the end. When things look difficult or hard, that is often when God is most present.  Our blessings come in times of pain, not just in times of blessing.  Grace is present when things are hard.  God is present when life is challenging.  Blessed are we, even when we cry.

This is different from the world in which we live.  None of us want the blessings of struggles; I know I don’t.  I know our world doesn’t. But hear the word of the Lord, the times of pain, those are times when God’s power and God’s strength sees us through. That is when we are blessed.

Second is what He tells us next.  Love your enemies.  I don’t want to do that.  None of us do.  As I tell folks; my enemies are my enemies for a reason.  I don’t like them; much less do I want to love them. But we must love even our enemies because Jesus died for them.  He wants to save them.  He wants to be in relationship with them.  He wants to be reconciled to them, as He is to you and I.  Loving your enemies is hard.  In fact, it is impossible, apart from God’s grace.  But that is our calling, to love everyone, even our enemies.  God is love; that is what we are taught in scripture.

This is different from the world in which we live.  We are told to protect ourselves, don’t be foolish.  Fool me once and what not.  Jesus says no – love. Even when its hard.  Love. Allow God’s love to flow through you.  And His love will change them, and it will change you.  This goes against the grain of this world. But it is life itself.

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