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Thank you for all those who came together last week to dive headlong into the texts together by way of a diagnosis/prognosis (or law/gospel, or bad news/good news) framework. While simplistic in some ways, this method can help us get beyond our basic instincts into a little richer understanding of the text. As one member of the group noted, for instance, it helped them get beyond a temptation to read the text literally and helped them into a reading that was a little more nuanced.

I’d venture to say (but can’t really promise) that the texts we worked through last week are some of the more challenging pieces we’ll find here in the Gospel, so I appreciate you all for your willingness to jump right in with enthusiasm. To view the Law/Gospel chart we used to help navigate these texts, scroll down and click "Law:Gospel.pdf" under the "Downloads" section.

We’ll use this framework once more this week as we work through Matthew 5:38-6:4. I encourage you to read Jenny’s post on last week’s class found here, since I think she raises a great question. As I read her reflection, I hear her wondering, “how do we move from hearing the Gospel into taking the very actions the Gospel calls us into?”

That’s a great question, and it’ll be right in the middle of our conversation this week, especially as Jesus commands us to love our enemies. How do we take the liberating Word of God's love and grace (i.e., "the Gospel") and translate it into action? 

See you tomorrow at 4:30P.M.


Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash

1 Comment

Jenny 6 months ago

In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus tells us to love our enemies, and I used to struggle with that so much, and wonder how could I love and pray for someone who had done great harm. A helpful thing that one of our group speakers said today was that Jesus tells us in a sense to "let God work on the enemy" by praying for them. Also, people who harm are not peaceful, so we can pray that God might somehow bring peace to our enemies' hearts; peace that interrupts the cycle of violence and removes our enemies' desire to do harm. Praying for our enemies also makes US more peaceful and less likely to perpetuate evil or lash out at another because we have been wronged. Jesus then gives us a direct "So that..." paraphrased...we may be children of God who makes the sun shine and rain fall on ALL of us. To me, that means to have compassion on even our enemies, who are also subject to the harsh realities of life, who may have endured oppression or injustice, and remember that God loves them too. Enemies can be great or small, across the globe or across the room. And whether near or far, I believe Jesus is also saying "Remember you still have to live with these people."

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