Silent Sunshine

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:12
Christ spoke many noble words about the way God's children should respond to violence and hatred—words that sometimes come to us in the form of commandments. But who can follow such orders? Are not the commands to turn the other cheek and love our enemies impossible to follow in real life? And yet Christ himself showed us how seriously he meant what he said when, while dying on an instrument of torture, he prayed that those who put him there would be forgiven. 

Alexander Maclaren had this to say about such difficult commandments (and I've adapted this): 

Deeds of kindness, words of blessing, and—most important of all (and the most helpful in fulfilling the other two)—prayer, are to be our meek answers to evil. Why should Christians always let their enemies determine the terms of communication? We are not to be mere reverberating surfaces—echoes of angry voices. Let us take the initiative; and if others are scornful, let us meet them with open hearts and smiles, for a soft answer turns away wrath... Though frost and snow bind the earth in chains, silent sunshine conquers in the end, and evil can be overcome with good.

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
 Luke 6:28
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, 
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it's in giving that we receive,
and it's in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 Anon. early 20th century (but attr. to Francis of Assisi)

After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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