“Knives scare me,” announced Darcy. We weren’t planning to let her carve her own pumpkin and she didn’t want to. She did want to design her pumpkin, and she drew a great picture of a girl holding a heart balloon, shouting “BOO” (a Halloween version of Bansky’s graffiti). Carving the drawing proved difficult (you can still see the string from of her balloon). So we instead went with a Boo Heart. To which Meg said, Love is Scary.
I laughed, are you saying that because you are married to me? But Meg was serious. If you love like Jesus, it is scary.
“Love your enemies… turn the other cheek… if someone wants to take your shirt, give them your coat as well…”
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is chock full of intensity. An ethic that is beyond most of us. And yet this is the love we are called to demonstrate. A love that would sacrifice our own rights. It is petrifying to be so vulnerable. That is why so many pick up stones instead.
Yet the only one who had authority to cast the first stone refused (John 8). Instead God gave us the example of the cross.
The world respects power. Knives are scary. But violence does not change things. It simply begets more of the same. All our actions beget more of the same. Even Love. Yet the world did not know love, until Jesus came. Now God’s may be reproduced in us, begetting more love. In a world carved by violence, this sacrificial love is the light of hope.
Here is the end of Matthew 5:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.