Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Both Rev Ann at 9am and the fantastic to meet Fr David at 10:45 emphasised this need for love. To love all people. That by just sharing God’s love with fellow Anglicans, or fellow Christians, is not enough. We must, as did Nelson Mandela, as have done the Egyptians, bring peace and stand together not with the taking up of arms, but in, as we say in our Eucharistic service every week, the lifting up of our hearts. In loving all people. In standing for what we believe in and refusing to let people control us. As Nelson Mandela seeked reconciliation with those who put him in prison, we must love those who have hurt us too. As Jesus said, love your enemies. Love all.
We all share a common need to love and be loved. We all share a common need to share peace with one another. We all share a common ground. To bring the world we all dream about, the Kingdom of God to earth, we must let go, and be open to one another. To love all.
And so here comes another song for this week… the hymn Come down, O Love divine…
Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn,
til earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
nor can we guess its grace,
till we become the place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.