The Peace of Christ for the Enemies of God

Reddish-Brown cross against a blue sky to accompany blog post from New Hope Presbyterian Church in Castle Rock, CO

 

“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies.

At the end all his disciples deserted him.

On the Cross he was utterly alone,

surrounded by evildoers and mockers.

For this cause he had come,

to bring peace to the enemies of God.

So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion

of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.

There is his commission, his work.

The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies.

And he who will not suffer this does not want

to be of the Kingdom of Christ;

he wants to be among friends,

to sit among roses and lilies,

not with the bad people

but the devout people.”

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Perhaps the most disturbing words in scripture came from Jesus on the cross:

 

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!”

 

Maybe the most astonishing words are also uttered by Jesus who prayed to the God he feared may have forsaken him, for the very tormentors who put him on the cross:

 

“Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

 

Christ’s peace comes not by avoiding our enemies, but by loving them while they are enemies still.

 

Question:

Who is Christ asking us to pray for- and what would that prayer be today?

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