Day 35: Matthew 5:45b-46

For he [God] makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that!

[This isa continuation of Jesus’ teaching about loving our enemies.  He is explaining to his disciples how they can be “more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.” (See Day 23)].

In the first sentence Jesus reminds us who this universe really belongs to.  It’s God’s sun, his rain, his earth, his people.  Psalm 24:1 says, “The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his.”  We are only here for a short time.  It doesn’t belong to us.

With that in mind, I then think about the cycle of sunshine and rain moving across the face of the earth each day.  Even today in our technological age we have no control over the weather.  We can’t do a thing about it.  We can predict it, but we can’t change it.  But it’s of vital importance.  If the sun stops shining or the rain stops coming we all perish.

Now I think about each individual person living on the earth moving around underneath all that weather.  All created by God.   All part of creation.  All looking pretty much the same from a distance.  I am reminded of astronomer/philosopher Carl Sagan’s words:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

Here is the picture he was referring to – look again at that dot!!  All of us huddled together on a tiny blue dot hurling through space.  It’s hard to imagine, but it somehow puts things into perspective.

 Image

Jesus says in this scripture that God freely bestows the blessing of weather on everyone, so we should do likewise and cover the earth with our love. It’s a pretty small dot; it wouldn’t take that much love to cover the whole thing!  He wants us to stop using our love to reward others for their good behavior and withhold it from others as a form of punishment.  Love is something you do, not something you feel.  So I will remind myself to do it as a discipline because it’s the right thing to do.  Somebody’s got to do it; it might as well be me.

What does this scripture say to you?

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4 thoughts on “Day 35: Matthew 5:45b-46

  1. 43″You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44″But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matt 5:43-44

  2. Carl Sagen’s quote reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who. Never thought of that story having a spiritual basis but I think it does now.

  3. Pingback: Scripture Countdown: Number 98 | Who Are You Following?

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