46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
As I read what Jesus teaches in what is know as the Sermon on the Mount about having love our enemies, it’s a hard word to swallow this morning especially in the wake of the largest mass shooting in modern day history. I ask myself, who is there to love within the context of this tragedy besides the 59 victims that innocently lost their lives? I find hatred in my heart towards the shooter, the lawmakers, the government, our society.. but then how do we identify who the true enemy is? To me, it’s the forces of darkness and opposition, the bad decisions, the refusal to change.. those are the real culprits we should focus on to address a much bigger issue at large. Though sin exists everywhere, there are measures that we can take to further prevent tragic historic acts (namely mass shootings) from repeating themselves over and over again.. The most recent events in Vegas (which is the worst to date in the US of it’s kind) says something about where we stand as a nation.
How does Jesus fit in this super messed up pictures? He says in verse 44 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I’ve been reading all over Facebook of people commenting on how sending our thoughts and prayers are just not enough. That statement hold some truth, and it needs to go beyond a post or a comment and extend to how we can live out the love of Jesus Christ. Our thoughts and prayers need to the launch pad where through Jesus prompts change and transformation. He was a promoter, a changer, a transformer, a doer.. all done perfectly through the balance of love, truth, and grace. I ask the Lord, how am I to minister or directly be a light of something which feels so remote yet close to the heart at the same time. Post on Facebook? Send money towards victims? Be a part of protesting about gun control? I think it starts from being to identify the enemy, come before the Lord, release to Him the heaviness from the negativity, animosity, or whatever we may be feeling and processing (which takes time), and then filled by the Holy Spirit ask and inquire from God what we are to do next. The enemy isn’t our president, the government, or even as hard as it is to say shooters or guns. I believe the true enemy is how Satan will take full advantage of these situations and have us respond in the flesh rather than the spirit.
Lord Jesus, my heart hurts for our nation and our people. I give to You my hatred, anger, animosity, sorrow, and confusion. Give me a new heart so that rather than having a fleshly that adds fuel to the fire be right with You so that in spirit You can give me instructions as what to do next. Help our responses to this crisis release Your Spirit, uplift Your name, and glorify You until the end of age.