Friday, August 23, 2013

The Love of Many Will Grow Cold

This is a hard time for Egypt. Jesus knew that in hard times it is hard to love. He said: “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”

Many of my family are in Egypt. I hear that more than 50 churches were burned in the last two days by radical Islamists – and I think, they have no love in their hearts. I hear that Christians are attacked, and killed in their homes and on the streets (just because they are Christians). Most media outlets seem to think it’s not worth reporting.

The reaction of the Christian leader of the Church in Egypt was to call on Christians to pray for their enemies, for the very people who persecute them, that God may forgive them, they pray and fast for their sake. They pray for the families who lost loved ones, no matter what religion they follow. I admit, may be my love grows cold.

Jesus told his disciples: “And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favour.” Yet this is what he taught on love: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.

Jesus didn’t just teach this – he knew persecution well in his life, and even as he hung on the cross this was his last prayer: “forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

The followers of Jesus write: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” They say: “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

This is a wisdom I struggle to understand but I know it is true and right. The love of God is more than enough – may their love, our love - never grow cold as we wait for better times.

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