Joshua 4:19–5:1, 10–15; Romans 12:9–21; Matthew 26:17–25
There seems to be so much evil in our world today. Violence, exploitation, oppression, persecution, and injustice seem to be the new norm. Many news media sources, movies, and electronic games perpetuate this rampant cycle of hatred.
Christians are called to break the cycle of hatred. Rather than following the way of the world and returning evil for evil, God expects us to bless our persecutors and repay our enemies not with hatred and vengeance, but with acts of kindness and humble service.
This task of the Christian vocation is most certainly difficult to accept and even more difficult to put into practice! We would prefer to hold on to our bitterness and anger, nursing our victimhood with the indulgence of self-pity. But Christ calls us, as he calls all his disciples, to learn from and follow his example. He calls us to let go of the pain of hatred to which we so selfishly cling, so that we may open wide our hearts and our arms to love and serve all people—both those who love us and those who wish us ill. Through the love of Christ, evil shall never triumph over good.
Prayer: Loving Lord, Help us to love and serve all people in your name, that through our deeds of humble service, we may faithfully and boldly proclaim the good news. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Paulette McHugh, Associate Pastor, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC.