This week, our brother Jack Wisdom reminds us that loving enemies is not merely a part of the Gospel; it is the Gospel. As we seek to follow in the Way of Jesus, we must learn to make a daily practice of forgiveness.
"In order to love your enemies, you must begin by analyzing self."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment. If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls—these young women in their childhood—I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others."
- Judge Rosemarie Aquilina regarding Dr. Nassar
"I pray you experience the soul-crushing weight of guilt so you may someday experience true repentance and true forgiveness from God, which you need far more than forgiveness from me—though I extend that to you as well."
- Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander to Dr. Nassar
This week, our practice is centered on the idea that self examination is the beginning of loving enemies.
Our first meditation is one of personal confession. Remember that confession is not a means to be forgiven (you are already forgiven!) but a way to orient your heart towards receiving a forgiveness already given. Take 5 minutes (set a timer if it helps) and consider the ways you have failed to love God and neighbor that day. When the timer rings, simply thank God for the forgiveness already given to you.
A second meditation centers on contemplating the meaning of the cross. Moving from your personal confession, consider for 3-5 mins the cross. Imagine Jesus, walking through the passion narrative. Imagine Jesus on the cross, crying out it is finished. As best as you can, think of nothing but Christ on the cross for these few moments. As the timer rings, simply thank God for Jesus's love, and ask that the meaning of the cross would manifest itself more today than yesterday, in all areas of your life and community.
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
All the Poor and Powerless
Nothing But the Blood
Great is Thy Faithfulness