John Sentamu: Enemies are in need of forgiveness

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This one of John Sentamu’s Advent reflections, based on Matthew 5:38-48:

Impossible Love

Sometimes the world seems to be full of enemies, from people who want to blow us up, down to the noisy neighbour who destroys our sleep. What kind of impossible love is Jesus demanding – to love those who harm us? But in the daily fear or frustration with our enemies we mustn’t forget that Christ’s Kingdom of Love was challenging the greatest enemy of all: the one who hates us and wants our eternal destruction. This enemy’s weapons are hatred, fear, violence and death; weapons that only love can transform. Can we really wait for God’s justice without vengeance in our own hearts? Can we look at our enemies and see them with his perspective – sinners in need of forgiveness? It’s hard, but we can learn as we become part of his Kingdom.

A few years ago there was a craze for ‘Magic Eye’ pictures: coloured 3-D patterns which revealed a hidden picture if you looked at them in a certain way. One moment you were looking at a random design, the next – with a little change of focus – you might glimpse the other dimension and see an image which had been hidden. Let us allow Jesus Christ to heal our vision as we look at our enemies and allow him to make that change of focus in us which will allow us to love them with his love.

You can read the whole reflection here.

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