Can we change who we love? Everything changed on Sept 11, 2001! I vividly remember wondering if my city, my area was next. Our collective sense of security crumbled along with the Twin Towers. Everything changed, including the face of our enemy. For a brief moment in time, the entire nation united to declare war on a new enemy. As we remember the events of of 9/11, I invite you to wonder along with me what it means when Jesus gives us the crazy statement “love your enemies.” I’m not suggesting we change a national policy…only that we consider changing who we love.
How would you respond if I told you that the sky was green? You might gently pat me on the head, thinking I’d gone a little loopy. Or maybe you’d do your best to convince me that I was mistaken. But, because you look at the sky nearly every day, you might never consider that the sky is anything but Carolina blue. We see a blue sky and simply know we are right.
But what if we were wrong? What if all of us have faulty eyesight? What if the sky was truly green, or yellow, or even marroon. Without corrective lenses we might never notice? Many of us might recall the days before digital cameras when every picture produced a film negative we took to get developed. Those negatives presented a warped view of reality: black was white, up was down, and left was right. The film needed processed, developed, in order to truly reflect reality. What if the way we naturally view the world is an unprocessed, undeveloped negative?
Jesus preached some wild ideas. In our new message series, Undeveloped Negatives, we take a look at the Gospel of Luke’s version of what many of us know as the Sermon on the Mount. Luke 6:20-49 presents a more concise version of the essential teachings of Jesus…call them the “Spark Notes” versions of the Sermon on the Mount. In them, Jesus challenges us to see the world completely different. In Jesus’ reality, the poor are blessed and the rich are sorrowful. In Jesus’ way of living, we love our enemies and help those who hurt us. Jesus inverts our perceived picture of normal and suggests that maybe, just maybe, we’ve been looking at life completely wrong.
Could Jesus be right? Do we need processed, developed if you will, by Jesus in order to gain a full color view on how life truly is? In this Sunday’s message we consider how Jesus changes who we love. We dive deep into the bold challenge to “love your enemy” and wonder aloud why Jesus might just be right.
Click below to listen to this past Sunday’s Message
For Further Discussion:
What were you doing on September 11, 2001? What do you remember most about that day? Why do you think we remember that one day so well?
How did you react to those who committed the events of Sept 11, 2001? Who would you consider an enemy? How do you react to those who purposefully harm you or others?
Read Luke 6:27-36 Why do you think it is so hard to actively love someone who is actively harming you? Why do you think Jesus wants us to “love our enemies”?
Would you have considered yourself an enemy of God (unthankful and wicked)? How could better understanding God’s love for you help you love even those who hate and harm you?
Who do you need to forgive, pray for, and love today just like God loves you? What is your NEXT STEP with Jesus and how can Christ Church help you?