Pastor Randy proclaimed the good news on Sunday: Blessed are you when you mourn! Blessed are you when you are cursed or abused. What?
And then he proclaimed our part in setting things right by praying for our abusers or enemies or those who persecute us. What?
From Pastor Randy's Sermon:
Today’s text really gets at the core of some of the more difficult things of life, some of the things that we may agree or desire mentally, but yet are much more difficult to live out. How do we do good to those who hate us – as Jesus advises us to too? How are we loving our enemies? How many of us when we have been struck, hurt or injured, have simply offered up our other cheek? How many of us, as Jesus literally requests, give to everyone who begs from you? How do we make sense of this? These are the very words that come out of Jesus’ mouth, how do we deal with them – ignore them, skip over them, soften them, or even sidetrack them? Do we catch a glimpse of why people of Jesus’ time reacted harshly to what Jesus was saying, so much so that the religious among them, plotted to kill him?
I don't know, Pastor.... can it be true, as you said, that praying for our enemies gives us strength? Praying in our weakness moves us to see how we have been blessed?
Oh, that is right.... praying constantly, fervently, and trying to discover God praying with us doesn't change the situation or take away the pain we have suffered or caused. Praying brings us closer to God, the source of all blessing. Even when I hurt, or am ashamed, or enraged, praying brings me into the heart of God -- where all is "blessed."
That's the good news!