“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28
Today we are faced with the challenges of war, religious nationalism and polarization. The conflicts in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel-Palestine, the Horn of Africa, Syria and Ukraine immediately come to mind. Yet conflicts and wars are perpetual and threaded throughout the Bible. Hunger and famine are related consequences of these horrors of death. The hatred and fears about who is an enemy have fueled and still fuel the atrocities of bloodshed and loss of life.
Yet Jesus says, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you and even bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.” For many this seems counter-intuitive and certainly not doable. After all, in so doing, self-interest may be compromised.
Exodus 2:1-10 provides a lesson on what it means to love and pray for the “enemy.” Although enemies, an enslaved Israelite mother, Jochebed; her daughter Miriam; and an African princess, Bithiah, reject the hatred to show love to Moses.
Together they protect baby Moses’s life. They...