Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baby Grace

I’ve been keeping up with this story about “Baby Grace” recently. As I read this morning I became sick to my stomach and angry, angry to the point where I thought, “$350,000 bail, that’s stupid, why don’t they just kill them both, they’ve admitted to killing the girl!” I was discussing the tragedy and disgusting act of humanity completed by these two repulsive human beings and I was suddenly hit with this thought of grace. In what we know as the Sermon on the Mount Jesus goes through all these attributes and characteristics of what a person following Him would look like. Jesus was not one to back down from making people cringe or seasoning His discourses with a little against the grain thinking. Jesus gets to one point in the Sermon on the Mount and begins to talk about love, not just love for your neighbor, but your enemy as well. That seems like a no-brainer on most days, pretty simple, just love everyone, love your neighbor and your enemy. This morning I had to wrestle with this thought, with this new command by Jesus to love those who hate us. He calls us to love outside of what or who we are comfortable loving.

So as rage filled my belly this morning as I read about 2 young “parents” throwing their daughter around by the hair, holding her head under water, and smashing her little skull on tile floors, I found it hard to find love or grace anywhere within my body or soul. I think it is in moments like this when we are challenged to go against the grain and follow Jesus and take what He said to heart, actually love our enemies, that love becomes beautiful. Love within comfort is not really love is it. The kind of love Jesus showed was the kind that makes you stand out, the kind that gets you spit on and mocked, the kind of love that eventually gets you killed. This love is the love Jesus was talking about when He commanded us to love our enemies. He ends his short dialogue on this with another command that confirms Jesus wants us to love like he loves, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).”

So being perfect like my Father in heaven and loving like my Father in heaven requires me to follow the example Jesus set. I’m convicted to no longer shake my fist and lick my chops at these two murders, but have compassion in my soul and love them, and pray God will forgive them and they will seek Him. As much as I think it is wrong that they should be forgiven, who in the world am I to make that call?! In a world full of so much controversy, war, politics, religious diversity, and pure evil, Jesus calls us to love our enemies. This is such a hard thing to do and it is in moments like reading about parents killing children or terrorist killing innocent people that this love becomes so difficult to have. I pray the Lord will fill you with love and you will strive to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect and love!

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