FOR SATURDAY TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 6:27-36
“If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.” (Luke 6:29-30; New Revised Standard Version)
Edward Markquart of Seattle offers these words on retaliation: “Don’t be quick to revenge but try to find a way of reconciliation. Don’t be quick to punish someone who steals from you but discover why they were stealing and how people can solve that problem. Don’t be quick to judge beggars. [Ask] Why are these people begging and what can be done about it? Jesus wants to change the spirit of irritation, anger and hatred inside of us. Irritation, anger, hatred and retaliation only seem to heap gasoline on the fire of conflict. Jesus is teaching his disciples another way of dealing with revenge.”
It is so easy for us to be drawn into a cycle of violence and retaliation. The end result is only more conflict and pain – heaping “gasoline on the fire”. We may not be able to change or control others, but we do have the choice on how we shall respond in the Spirit of God who IS able.
Prayer: Lord of Wisdom and Hope, help us to remember your truth at with God nothing is impossible. Give us the courage to take the steps needed in our walk this day to work for peace and reconciliation. Amen.