But I say to you, love.

If we wear his name
and pretend to listen to his words,
then we know that we’re expected
to do a lot of loving.
The God he called Father?
Fair enough, once you get your mind around
the concept of an immanent Deity
whose nature is grace and compassion;
the loving becomes our response.
One another? Would appear to be do-able,
but there are still occasions
when one’s capacity for loving is tested.
Your neighbour, (as yourself)?
Meaning the people you meet and deal with;
creating emotional commitment
where none previously existed;
this certainly makes heavier demands
upon our limited supplies of love and goodwill.
Your enemies?
Here we rule the line on loving.
We are not alone: millennia of tradition
in the church, and the culture shaped by it,
have managed to set aside this teaching
as excessive, inappropriate and ill-considered.
Not to be taken literally.
But then, if you’ve really got a problem
with loving your enemies,
don’t have any.

© Ken Rookes 2014


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