We close Black History month by focusing upon the most challenging form of love: loving one’s enemies. We recall the arresting words of Jesus, “You have heard it said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies”.
These are profound words. Is it possible to live out these words? Some would say that Jesus was an impractical idealist. But I would argue that especially now, Jesus was a practical realist and his words shine out with new urgency. This command is vital for our survival as a civilization. Love will save our world, love even for enemies.
So how do we begin? We begin with ourselves.
Loving one’s enemies begins by confronting the hate response in the soul of oneself. In the words, of Dr King, Hate destroys both the one hated and “distorts the personality of the hater.” King also noted, “This is true in our international struggle” as well. Love, on the other hand, “has within it a redemptive power,” the power of the cross.”He who loves is a participant in the being of God”