September 11 came and went this week, with many observances and moments of reflection. As I went to bed, to rest my body and my mind, I thought all was well. Then, I woke up this morning — the a day that saw our ambassador to Libya killed. These two passages were ringing in my ears and, coincidentally, what Lynne has selected for worship this coming Sunday:
Luke 6:27-31 (NRSV)
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Romans 12:14-21 (NRSV)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We had a huddle meeting in staff this morning and, as we prayed, our associate pastor Dariel Newman, prayed a poignant prayer about those that serve in harms way — but do so in a suit and armed only with words.
Take a moment and honor those who, each day, give their lives for us. Also, pray for the ones who attacked, injured and killed our embassy persons.
Overcome evil with good.