From the Deacon’s Desk for February 20, 2022

Dear Friends:

Today we hear a rather lengthy Gospel from Luke 6:27–38. This Gospel is sometimes called the Sermon on the Plain. Luke spends most of this passage telling us how we are to love each other. There is encouragement to forgive even those who harm or steal from us. This is very difficult for us to grasp, much less live. Luke makes it quite clear that we will struggle with this type of forgiveness. He reminds us that the sun rises on all people, good and bad. God shows mercy and forgiveness to all people and challenges us to a higher level of mercy and love.

I think it’s important for us to understand that forgiveness is not an emotional decision. To forgive or to love someone does not mean we have to feel all mushy inside. What God expects of us is to love and forgive with our minds. In other words, we make a conscious decision to forgive and love those who hurt, steal, and belittle us. Sometimes this is so difficult for us to accomplish that we will have to ask the Lord to help us to make a conscious decision to forgive and love. When we do, we are turning over what we struggle with to God. We admit to God and ourselves that it is hard for us to love and to forgive. By asking God to help us accomplish this, we humbly show God how much we really want to do what he asks us to do!

This will never be easy, but it can be done. May God help us all to live the way he wants us to live!

Peace and All Good!

Deacon Jim