“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”- Matthew 5:43-45
In Chapter 2 (“Our Father in Heaven: Live in Your Father’s Affection”) of The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth focuses on the opening phrase of the Lord’s Prayer. She begins with the first word, “our”, noting that the entire prayer contains no singular pronouns.
Mary emphasizes that we should pray the Lord’s Prayer with relationships in mind, that when we pray for the welfare of those who have hurt us, we need to do so in the context of community. In the process we will experience the surprising blessing of God.
The freefall of someone’s sin hurts us so much because deep down we know that God intends for us to live in harmony, community, and joy. As Mary notes, “we’re all in this heartache together.” We recover from difficult community by being led to healthy community:
“God is our Father. All of us together. When we realize that He loves every single person on earth with enormous affection, we see how small our love is . . . We’re more like Him when we gather community to ourselves rather than shun it.”
Today’s question (from Mary): Why does Jesus want us to hang out with others, particularly when people hurt us? Why does He think community is important? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Our Father’s heart”